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Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Second Week of Advent - Monday: "Friend, your sins are forgiven you."

Monday, December 05, 2011
Readings: Isaiah 35: 1-10; Psalm 85; Luke 5: 17-26

Would you be comfortable waging your salvation on the strength of your faith? Is your faith strong enough to save you? The Gospel presents these questions often. At some point in our lives, we will each have to answer. Hopefully, each of us is ready to respond with an emphatic “Yes!”

However, would we be as zealous, as sure of the strength of our faith, if someone else’s salvation rested on our faith?

The men who lower the paralytic through the roof in the Gospel of Luke recognize the importance of acting on their faith. The crowd is too dense. They cannot get the paralytic to Jesus. If they wait too long, these men may never have a chance to save their friend. Yet, they do not let this obstacle stand in their way. When Jesus sees this man lowered through the roof, he does not cite the paralytic’s faith as he heals him. Rather, Jesus sees the faith of these men who let nothing stand between God and someone in need of God’s healing.

It can be easy for us to put ourselves on the line in a grave situation. Often times, we consider self-sacrifice a way of growing in our faith. If we fail at first, then we acknowledge our failure, repent, and continue in the life of faith. But when we realize that our faith and actions impact the wellbeing of others, we open ourselves up to the reality of our Christian vocations.

Our faith in God is not a gift solely for our benefit. We do not follow Christ isolated from other people on our own private paths. The grace of God must be diffusive, coming from God, through us, to the world. For this reason, the Church exhorts us toward the Sacraments and public witness, not only that we may grow in faith, but that we may also bring the gift of faith to others.

As we continue our Advent meditations, let us contemplate how our faith impacts the lives of others. I do not doubt the awe one experiences when hearing Jesus say, “Your faith has saved you.” But, as a member of the Body of Christ, I think such an experience reaches its zenith when Jesus also says, “Your faith has saved others.”

Augustine OP

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