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The Gift That Satisfies

Rev. Paul V. Redmond
Professor Emeritus
Mount St. Mary's University

(8-08-10) Our great adventure began years ago when we were reborn in baptism to live in faith as disciples of Jesusóto live in faith and never in fear. Jesus speaks to you and me, his disciples: "Do not fear, little flock. It has pleased the Father to give you a kingdomóthat is, to give you Himself."

Our "treasure of faith" helps us to set our hearts on our living here and now the unending life of Father, Son, and Spirit that we received in our baptism. Our faith helps us to be open to the Lord Jesus who comes to us in the surprising disguises of those with whom we live, work, and meet every day of the week. Faith prompts us to support and love them and to reach out to anyone in need.

But just what is this gift of faith that you and I have received? Our first scripture reading today gives us the only definition of faith in the Bible: "Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen." (Heb. 11:1) From scripture we learn that both faith and hope blend together. Faith and hope point to the fullness of life in Godís kingdom.

It is "by faith" that Abraham who is our "father in faith" left his homeland. He and his wife, Sara. accepted Godís joyful promise that their descendants would form a great nation. They longed for a heavenly home and a place in Godís kingdom.

By faith Abraham and Sara walked into a future, with eyes open, but sight unseenóseeing nothing You and I, in our own lives, have walked into a future---a single life of dedication, married life, or the life of a sister or priest.---we have walked with eyes open, but sight unseen, seeing nothing. Faith is a knowledge of "unseen realities", a generous response to Godís loving call to us, a faithful living out of our trust in his promises.

Faith is a leap that takes you and me to an awareness that there our security is rooted in God. If you and I can see something, it is not faith; if we can arrive at something logically or prove something, it is not faith. Faith is a knowledge of unseen realities. It is our generous response to Godís call. In his love for us he wants to give us a kingdom---that is God wants to give us himself. Our faith and hope blend together and grow together against the emerging light of Godís kingdom---which began for us in our baptism.

And our response? In todayís Gospel the main characters in the short parables or stories are a master and his servants. The master is the risen Jesus. We, his faithful servants. Our attitude as faithful servants is rooted in our hope for the future when the risen Jesus will come again as the glorious Son of Man.

To strengthen our growth in our faith and hope for the full embrace of Godís love I pass along what is basic in our spiritual adventure. To grow you and I need to admit that each one of us is incomplete, unfinished. There is a fundamental restlessness, an emptiness in our lives. We might experience it when we wake up at 3:00 in the morning. With St. Augustine we realize that our hearts are somehow ill-at-ease---restless---no matter whom we may be sleeping with. We live for an embrace that is always beyond us. We long for what will soothe the last ache within us. In grace, we begin to realize that our restlessness, our "ill-at-easeness" will be healed, the fire within us will be quenched by Jesus, our Brother and our Lord, who constantly assures you and me of his and the Fatherís never-failing love for us.

Thank God for this gift of restlessness. It is really a blessing in disguise. Otherwise, we might forget the "divine lover" who is pleased to give us through Jesus the treasure of himself. . . .a treasure which we must share here and now in giving ourselves to others.

Read other homilies by Father Paul