I write this because my Lectio Divina this week took me to a place where the Scriptures said even Jesus could not work miracles because of their lack of Faith.
What comes first my belief or Faith? Scriptures also teaches us that no one can say “Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit”. (I Corinthians 12:3) Faith is first because it is a gift from God, one that be given, one that be taken away (reference the Book of Job). The coin of Faith has two sides: one side is the gift of adoption as sons and daughters of the Father, one that allows us to proclaim Jesus is Lord to the glory of the Father; the second side is our assent to that Faith by doing what the Lord commanded. And what did He command? Love one another as I have loved you.
John 13:34-35[Full Chapter]
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The Church, or assemblies of believers, practices that by having in them the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5).
We are guided by our teaching authority (those officially authorized as head of the body in Church Universal, our dioceses, our religious communities). Just as Christ is the head of the Church, so those to whom he has entrusted his Kingdom of Heaven on Earth share in leadership with Christ, the Good Shepherd. All of us (except Christ and Mary, His mother) are sinners. It is only because the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary (Faith) and she uttered her Magnificat (Belief) that she is without sin (she still suffered the effects of sin, e.g., a sword of sorrow would pierce her Heart at what would happen to her Son, and she had to die.)
Matthew 8 NRSVCE – Jesus Cleanses a Leper –
The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10 When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one[d] in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.
Below are some situations and reasons why people leave the Church.
Christ gives us two ways to energize our Faith: Eucharist and Making All Things New. If you think you are entitled to go to Heaven because you happened to be Baptized, if you think loving others as Christ loves us is a waste of time, if you think you can get on the conveyor belt of Faith without taking up your cross daily and following Christ, then your Faith is in danger of becoming irrelevant. You may believe but your belief has no roots, like eating cotton candy. It tastes good at the time but there is no nutrition.
Be careful of what you believe.