Dear Friends

November 2013

Fr. StuartGod puts in the heart of every living person the desire for unending life and happiness.

While death claims each of us at the appointed time, God gives us something which death cannot touch–his own divine life and sustaining power. In the Old Testament, one of the greatest testimonies of faith and hope in the midst of great suffering and pain is that of Job: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another” (Job 19:25-27.)
Jesus made an incredible promise to his disciplies and a claim which only God can make and deliver ‘Whoever sees and believes in Jesus, the Son of God, shall have everlasting life and be resurrected!’

How can we see Jesus? He is present in his word, in the breaking of the bread, and in the church, the body of Christ. Jesus reveals himself in many countless ways to those who seek him with eyes of faith. When we read the word of God in the bible Jesus speaks to us and reveals to us the mind and heart of the Father. When we approach the table of the Lord, Jesus offers himself as spiritual food which produces the very life of God within us ‘I am the bread of life’ John 6:35. He promises unbroken fellowship and freedom from the fear of being forsaken or cut off from everlasting life with God. And he offers us the hope of sharing in his resurrection. Is your hope and desire to see God face to face?

What is faith and how do we grow in it? Faith is an entirely free gift which God makes to us. It is the Holy Spirit who reveals who Jesus is. We can believe in Jesus Christ because he is himself God, the Word made flesh. Faith is a personal adhearance to God and the free assent to the whole truth which God has revealed.

Faith is active submission to the One who created us in love and who sustains us by his grace and power. To obey in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth has been guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. We can entrust ourselves wholly to God and believe absolutely what he says. To live, grow, and persevere in faith to the end we must nourish it with the word of God. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 AD) said ‘I believe, in order to understand and I understand, the better to believe’. Jesus promises that those who accept him as their Lord and Savior and submit to his word, will be raised up to immortal life with him in the Day of Judgment.

Do you know the inexpressible joy of belief and hope in the resurrection? (see 1 Peter 1:3-9)

God Bless you.
Fr Stuart

Photo from All Saints Mass by John Bugeja, The Gibraltar Chronicle.