Friday, April 11, 2014

The Faith Challenge

From the Hermitage

Friday of the Fifth Lenten Week

Sacred Scripture

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, on a sudden impulse, I went to see a new movie that may not attract many viewers.  It is somewhat revolutionary.  It is, however, stirring and successful, at least as I am concerned, in making me think about God in our world today.   The title of the film?   God Is Not Dead.  It is the story of a freshman college student who dared to take on a brilliant teacher who demanded that students taking his course first draft and submit a statement:  God is dead.

What was so forceful occurred in the movie when the student, the only one who refused to submit the required state of disbelief and who was required to defend his belief that God was not dead, spoke so strongly that he drew into a heated debate the obnoxious professor.

I was reminded of a Tom Cruise flick in which the actor played the role of a military lawyer challenging in a court room rebuttal a highly decorated senior officer.  It was an intense scene.

Likewise in the faith movie:  the debate between teacher and student was intense.  The young student who studied as a professional to align his rebuttals to his professor spoke with powerful, respectful words that countered the atheistic position.   As the acerbic contest ended and the student called for the professor-required vote of the others in the class, we viewers watched the powerful impact that one person can have.  One by one the members of the class stood and, in essence, made their profession of faith.

Now, reflecting on today's gospel, read these words of a Jesuit leader of prayer and reflection on the final verses of today's gospel [Living Space...Sacred Space].  His thoughts bring to mind what this challenge of faith is for us today.

On the other hand, while Jesus was being attacked by the leaders of the Jews, many of the ordinary 
people continued to seek him out. Jesus had gone back across the Jordan (a safer place) to the spot where John the Baptist had baptised and given such strong testimony to Jesus. Many people came looking for him there. They could see, as the Pharisees could not, a clear distinction between Jesus and John: ,“John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true. And many there came to believe in him.” There are many who reject Christ and his message today but let us pray that we may have open minds to believe the many signs by which God reveals his love to us each day.

Oremus pro invicem,

Fr. Milt