When The Son Of Man Returns…Will He Find Faith On The Earth?
My brothers and sisters in Christ,
I find in my travels and almost thirty years of priesthood, that many people believe that they have faith. When you dig a little deeper, you find out that they spend most of thier time with their phones, computers and any other activity and they pray when they can fit it into their busy schedule. Is this the faith that Jesus is looking to find when He returns. When He approached Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, many were crying out praises and claiming Him the ‘long awaited one.’ Yes, by Friday of that same week (five days later) were screaming ‘Crucify Him”. This is called "lip service." Faith IN Him, on the other hand, is faith which begins in Baptism and develops through a daily discipline of prayer, the Eucharist, holy rosary, bible reading etc. etc. etc. and a life that seeks Him first by discerning His will for our life. This “faith” is a personal relationship that is a love affair. This relationship is founded in a love crucified where we decrease and He increases in us (John 3:30). What do I see most missing in practicing Catholics today? Few have a daily structured time of prayer in their busy schedules. Most believe that if they think about God throughout the day then they have a relationship with Him. But we can think about people and know them in a wordly (normal) way. Jesus wants this relationship to be as the Lord’s prayers says, “…on earth as it is in heaven…” A taste of heaven. Jesus´ longing and thirsting for a deep relationship with us is so strong that if we were to experience fully and mutually this longing, we would die of love. What I least see in souls today is true recognition and desire to enter into this relationship. A relationship that is living and directs every fiber of their existence towards Him and towards heaven.
Where is this ‘faith’ to be given and where is it to be found? I humbly recommend to daily visit Him before the Blessed Sacrament exposed and if you cannot find an adoration chapel visit Him in front of the tabernacle in your parish daily. Yes, I said daily unless a duty or an emergency occurs. If you long for a most faithful person in your life that will quench your every need for a father, spouse, friend He will have you taste and see Him in your very real need. That is what must slowly happen. Prayers must become a need to be with Him . A need that nothing and nobody else can take its place.
When people ask me, “How are you?” I answer them now, “Much better than I deserve.“ Life is very difficult and it is this that drives us to Him, to need Him. Do you need Him? How much do you know, really know you need Him? The answer comes by answering the question, “How much time to I spend with Him?” So, the faith I humbly believe He is looking for is one of greatest intimacy, companionship, trust and a relationship wishing to please Him — to do His will! St. Augustine said it so beautifully, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.“ I recommend a book by Fr. Jacques Philippe called, “Time For God”.
Now, the devil will do all in his power to keep you from this time with God. Has he succeeded? In most people, sadly the answer is “Yes.” The Bible describes this relationship as “In Him we live, move and have our being.“ That is the begging of heaven. This growing relationship will show us who he is and who we are. We need to have self knowledge. That is the begging of humility. Humility is the virtue to know ourselves and not fall apart when we see our “shadows.” We all have them. Yet all our weaknesses are meant to make us need Him.
We live in very difficult times. The war is vicious! St. Thomas Moore said, “The world is never so bad that a good person cannot live in it.” Jesus wants your life to be one that reflects Him— His joy, peace, hope, generosity and zeal in times like this. These qualities will be given by Him in a “silent" being with Him and He with you. You give Him what is yours and He will give you what is His. What an exchange— He gives everything! We must just be faithful and allow Him to change us. Thier in that process we will find our home- Him! This is the faith He wants and thirsts for!
Let us pray for one another to grow in this relationship faithful to Him and His Church!
God is ultimately what is underneath all our longings!