In the Light of Faith (A Reflection on the Encyclical “Lumen Fidei”)

Written by Jepoy Meneses on . Posted in Sharing

by Joseph Nichols Magdaherin
CFC SFL Distric of Davao

Lumen FideiAccording to the encyclical of Pope Francis, “Lumen Fidei” (In the Light of Faith), the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus.

Love itself is grounded in truth. The greatest proof of God’s Love for mankind is to lay down His life for his friends. Thus, he died on the cross for our salvation. Jesus offered his own life for all even his enemies. This explains why evangelists could see the hour of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as the culmination of the gaze of faith. Jesus loves mankind and this is the truth. Love and truth is inseparable.

Last January 1, I joined the Holy Mass in celebration of the Feast of the Mary Mother of God. Mary is also the Mother of our Church and the Mother of our faith. The Parish Priest of the church of San Pablo Bp. George Rimando, DD gave his homily using FAITH as an acronym. This stands for F-Fruitfulness not Fearfulness; A- Anticipating-Life not Anti-life; I- Integral not Intra-directed; T-Trusting not Timidity; H-Heading towards Heaven not Hell.

The encyclical of His Holiness Pope Francis allows me to reflect on my faith. As written in the compilation on Christian Ethics/Moral Theology,A Study of Christian Morality by Joel A. Reyes, bishops speak in the name of Christ, and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent of soul.

It allows me to think what if Mama Mary did not believe during the annunciation to be the Mother of God. Will Salvation be possible? But God has HIS plans before Mary was born. She was the Immaculate Conception of St. Anne. She is the perfect icon of faith. It was in the light of faith that Mother Mary conceived the Son of God as the Word Incarnate, the Word made flesh.

The Angelus is a good manifestation. It says, the angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived of the Holy Spirit…Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to your Word…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. This is a concrete image of God’s love for mankind. God the Father sent His only Begotten Son to be the new Adam. A Perfect Being to follow the Father even to die on the cross.

Abraham is the father of our faith. Faith according to the Bible from the Hebrew with is ‘emûnāh, derived from the verb ‘amān whose root means “to uphold”. The term ‘emûnāh can signify both God’s fidelity and man’s faith. For Abraham, faith in God sheds light on the depths of his being; it enables him to acknowledge the wellspring of goodness at the origin of all things and to realize that his life is not the product of non-being or chance, but the fruit of a personal call and a personal love.

Abraham was promised by God to be the father of all nations. But Yahweh tested his faith. He was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac. To think Isaac was his only son from Sarah and Isaac was asked by God to offer as sacrifice instead of a sheep. This would show the extent to which his primordial love is capable of ensuring life even beyond death.

Faith is God’s free gift, which calls for humility and the courage to trust and to entrust; it enables us to see the luminous path leading to the encounter of God and humanity. Salvation is the ultimate goal of Jesus’ Incarnation.

Faith knows that God has drawn close to us; that Christ has been given to us as a great gift which inwardly transforms us, dwells within us and thus bestows on us the light that illumines the origin and the end of life as stated by Pope Francis from his encyclical, “Lumen Fidei”.

Finally, as I quote from the book: The Faith Explained. It is with the light of faith that ensembles this four corners of my faith. The Church is a mother who teaches us to speak the language of faith. “Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity”.

Faith in itself is Holy because God, the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is Holy. Faith is universal, Catholic, its light expands in order to illumine the entire cosmos and all of history. And, it is apostolic in succession.

(Reprinted from Davao Catholic Herald dated August 25-31, 2013)

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