Faith Suffers To Serve And Save | Word from the Shepherd Issue No. 146

Mahatma Gandhi was exposed to Western Education and the beautiful teachings of Christ. He was also exposed to the hypocrisy of the Christians, the followers of Christ. Reflecting on his experience, he said:”I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

There are many believers but very few who live their faith. There is faith but no action. What we see is dead faith. Faith that does not inspire nor give hope. Catholics on Sunday, pagans on Monday.

Real Faith goes beyond the head knowing. It is beyond acquiring new knowledge. It is about falling in love with the Lord. One comes to love God and love everything that He loves. Remembering the words of Ruth: “Wherever you go I shall go, wherever you live I shall live, your people will be my people, and your God will be my God”. Real Faith disturbs the comfortable. Real faith is seen in action. It is love of God and love of everything God loves. The faith is see-able. The deep unwavering reliance on God’s vindication, the good works of charity and mercy, and the embracing of the cross are the indicators.

There is a price to pay. This faith entails suffering. It is not about “believing in suffering but about suffering for what we believe”. To follow Christ is to live the belief.
The Suffering Servant of Isaiah endured open abuses, insults and violence.
James saw the pain of detachment, dying to self and self giving.
Peter and the disciples resisted the suffering and cross dimension of the ‘following’.
Pope Francis is disliked by the American Catholic Conservatives for two words that highlight his pontificate. The words are ‘poor’ and ‘mercy’; that the ‘principle of common good’ wipes out poverty, and that Gospel of ‘eternal newness’ goes beyond correctness, doctrinal orthodoxy and letter of the law.

Coming to faith is coming to the person of Christ;
it is coming to love God and everything that He loves;
it is becoming poor for the poor and becoming merciful for those who need mercy.
This is the Christ that only few have met.

Faith suffers to serve and save.