the year of faith
"What an unbelieving lot you are!" —Mark 9:19
Because of their lack of faith, Jesus' disciples couldn't help a man by freeing his son from a mute and deaf spirit (Mk 9:18). The father himself couldn't help free his son without praying for greater faith (Mk 9:24). The greater our faith, the better we can help, free, and love people. Therefore, we too should cry out to the Lord: "I do believe! Help my lack of faith!" (Mk 9:24, our transl.)
Do you love the Lord and people so much that you are trying to grow in faith? "Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see" (Heb 11:1). Faith in the Lord is the result of a good relationship with Him. Therefore, to grow in faith means to communicate more deeply with the Lord, to spend more time with Him, and to serve Him in greater self-sacrifice.
During 1997, the Pope has called Catholics throughout the world to prepare to celebrate the 2000th anniversary of the Incarnation by focusing on Jesus. During this year, let's give Jesus prime time daily and deeply. Let's grow in union with Him and thereby in faith. Then we will be able to show our love for Him and others as never before.
Prayer: Holy Spirit of Pentecost, produce in me the fruit of faith (Gal 5:22).
Promise: "Fear of the Lord is glory and splendor, gladness and a festive crown. Fear of the Lord warms the heart, giving gladness and joy and length of days." —Sir 1:9-10
Praise: Maureen, a college student at a state university, stood up and defended priests when her professor attributed to Catholic priests sexual motivation for ministry. The professor attacked Maureen throughout the year, but she stood her ground repeatedly. The professor was ultimately fired as the administration backed Maureen.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 9, 1996
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 15, 1996