We are entrusted with a mystery worth living and loving

| Deacon Mickey Friesen | September 13, 2012 | 0 Comments

When people ask me to share my faith story, I am drawn back to a question I was facing when I was about 20 years old.

In a nutshell, the question was: “God, how are you really present to me in that little host I receive at Mass?” I just didn’t get it.

The question made me restless enough that I got up the nerve to ask my pastor about it. He said, “This is a very important question. Stay with it. Don’t settle for cheap answers.”

Living with this question has opened my eyes to the countless ways that Christ is present to me, with me and through me. The real presence of Christ is the source of my faith.

Leading us deeper

The Austrian poet Ranier Maria Rilke wrote a series of letters to a young poet who was questioning his literary vocation. In one of those letters, Rilke counseled the young man: “I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves. . . . Live the questions now.”

The big and often unresolved questions of our hearts have a power to lead us deeper. The mystery of faith that we proclaim at each Eucharist is such a question worth living.

Soon, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. That will be followed by a Year of Faith.

It will be a great opportunity to reflect on the faith that has been handed on to us. It can be a time to listen to the ways that God’s Spirit is moving among us through the signs of our times.

We can consider how the mystery of faith that we celebrate at each Eucharist is the source and summit of our Christian life and mission. Each of us, by our baptism, has been given a share in this gift of faith to embrace and to pass on.

Leading us deeper

The Year of Faith is also a year to deepen our evangelizing witness of Christ among us.

How do we share our faith in the 21st century? How is the life and mission of Jesus good news to this generation? How is the church living out the communion we share in each Eucharist. How is the Lord being made present today?

During this year, there will be many opportunities in parishes and across the archdiocese to consider the gift of faith and our witness to that faith.

One event I recommend is a daylong mission conference called, “Witnessing Faith” on Nov. 9.

It will offer a chance to explore the intersection between the faith we proclaim and the faith we practice. As St. Francis of Assisi said, “Proclaim the Gospel at all times; if necessary use words.”

The mystery of faith has been entrusted to us. It is a mystery worth living and loving. It is a journey and a decision to follow and trust Christ. Let us give thanks for the gift of faith and let us witness to the real presence of Christ for our world to see and hear.

Deacon Mickey Friesen is director of the archdiocesan Center for Mission.

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Category: Sharing Faith