20 Dec
2013

The Mystery of Faith

On St. Joseph and the Mystery of Faith

Joseph shows us a great role model in terms of the mystery of faith.  That he stood by Mary, reared a son he did not father, risked his life by caring for the Christ Child, left his home and took what was likely a perilous journey to Egypt and then back to Israel all due to what was likely based on tremendous faith is rather courageous.

We don’t know through what medium God spoke to Joseph, but needless to say, it must have been compelling.  The story of Joseph is a story of great faith, of personal sacrifice for greater good and of commitment to purpose.

Jesus’ Crucifixion and The Mystery of Faith

As for Jesus’ crucifixion, we cannot take that part alone to lead us to place of accepting him as the messiah. It is the Passion, Jesus’ life as witnessed by the Evangelists, Mathew, Mark, Luke & John, the prophecies in the Old Testament, the experiences of people who were and are devoutly committed to prayer but most importantly, living out the mystery of faith personally. This is not a rational or logical process which, unfortunately, makes the faith endeavor DOA for many.

The mystery of Faith

The Egocentric Mind and The Mystery of Faith

Another point to ponder, the rational, egocentric mind has a hard time separating itself from any experience that does not affect it directly or from that which it does not directly identify with.  This is why faith is said to be not an act of the mind but rather an act of the heart.  In addition, it is a process that requires us to go places we have never been within ourselves which requires risk and uncertainty and trust.  Most people will shy away from an endeavor that requires this of them.

The Paschal Mystery

It is called the “Paschal Mystery” because that’s what it is, a mystery.  During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the celebrant always chants “Let us proclaim the mystery of faith” which reminds us that we are engaged in a process of uncertainty.   Uncertainty and ambiguity are very hard for us to accept and to deal with in our daily lives, thus having a partner, friend and mentor with us at all times can we relieve ourselves from the pressure of uncertainty, guide us in our mission and compel us to live with passion & purpose.

Identifying with The Passion of Christ

It does my heart good when I hear people with at least some Christian formation tell me that they don’t identify with the Passion of Christ. This tells they have likely, but by no means certainly, never dealt with seriously trying events in their life.  Christianity is comprised of as many different episodes as there are in any one individual’s journey through life.  Different parts appeal to us at different times, and the same parts we may see differently at different times in our life.

If we tell ourselves that we won’t get on the bus unless we get to drive and until we know for sure what the destination is, we are resigned to live a life without faith.  Martin Luther King said it well when he said, “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” To that I say “‘Amen.'”

This post is an excerpt from a conversation with our dear friend Patrick Milazzo 

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