What is the essential content of our faith?
It almost seems impossible that an entire people could forget the essential content of their faith. Yet, it happens. It happened in Nehemiah and Ezra’s time because of the Babylonian captivity. In our time it can also happen for many different reasons. That’s why today’s readings want to remind us of the essential content of our faith and rekindle in us the joy of knowing what the Lord has revealed.
First of all, today’s readings remind us that the content of our faith is not only expressed in the written word, but also in the living Word of God, Jesus, present in our midst. Whereas reading and memorizing the many rules and regulations of Leviticus was important in its time, we are invited not to simply memorize and analyze, but rather, to enter into an experience of the Living Word always in the “today” of our lives. “Today the Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” is what Jesus said. He didn’t come just to explain, interpret or comment on his Father’s words or to expound a new theological understanding for our thoughts. He lived the word. He is the revelation. He is love; God’s love is revealed in all his actions.
Love is the essential content of our faith. Love is not just a concept. It is an action of commitment to the well-being and realization of ourselves and others. It is a call to respect and promote all life and especially human life. By love, everyone has been called into existence by God and is an important part of God’s revelation.
So, let us not forget the essential content of our faith: love; loved lived as Jesus shows us. Today – is always the when. Wherever we find ourselves - is the where. The Lord present in us and in all others – is the why.
Fr. Joseph Jablonski, MSC