By Faith, Continue the Journey

By Kellen O'Grady, Coordinator of Liturgical Celebrations

Time is relentless.  It quietly moves, ever steady and ever changing.  Time is such a natural part of our lives that it fades into the background and we hardly notice it until it is gone.  We’re three weeks into Lent; in another three weeks we’ll find ourselves in the midst of Holy Week.  Six weeks may seem agonizingly long at the start but don’t blink or you might miss it.  Now is about the time for a mid-season reflection on how we’ve been doing on our Lenten pilgrimage toward Easter.  Perhaps we’ve indulged in what we gave up for Lent or have ignored a pillar or two of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving; perhaps there have been great fruits already blossoming.

Midterm grades are going to be posted soon enough!  Your grades may be right where you want them or they might have slipped the first month.  Now is a good time to assess study habits and goals, and look toward summer internships, jobs, and projects.  Soon our seniors will graduate and the make-up of UST will shift once again.  The University is also about to transition into a new presidency. 

The Church finds herself, in the middle of this Year of Faith and also in the middle of the “interregnum” or between the reign of two Popes.  The Seat of St. Peter is vacant and we await a new Pope in the weeks ahead.  The College of Cardinals and the Church as a whole reflect on where the Church has been and pray to discern how she will most effectively preach the Gospel in the time to come.

If you take a few moments to reflect, I’m sure you will find a few mid-journey moments in your own life.  College life is filled with them.  Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter announcing the Year of Faith is titled Porta Fidei or Door of Faith.  He explains that that door is always open to us and “To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime.”  The journey becomes everything.  He gives many examples of the various ways Christians are called “by faith” to serve God. 

Especially poignant is the example of the Apostles:

By faith, the Apostles left everything to follow their Master (cf. Mk 10:28). They believed the words with which he proclaimed the Kingdom of God present and fulfilled in his person (cf. Lk 11:20). They lived in communion of life with Jesus who instructed them with his teaching, leaving them a new rule of life, by which they would be recognized as his disciples after his death (cf. Jn 13:34-35). By faith, they went out to the whole world, following the command to bring the Gospel to all creation (cf. Mk 16:15) and they fearlessly proclaimed to all the joy of the resurrection, of which they were faithful witnesses.

As you find yourself midway through so many journeys, Christ calls you to re-enter the “Door of Faith”.  At school, you are being instructed with Christ’s teaching and learning a new rule of life in a particular way.  Soon you will be sent out to the whole world to fearlessly proclaim Gospel.

Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.  For he says: “In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.”  Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”  2 Corinthians 6: 1-2