6th Week of Easter (M)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St Dominic Priory, NOLA
Brothers, we can't drop specimens of faith into a petri dish to examine its structure. There's no body to dissect or theorem to prove in the life of faith. Jesus tells the disciples that the Advocate will testify as a witness to the truth. Then he says to them and to us, “And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” Through the tradition of the Church we have been with him from the beginning, and we do testify to the truth of the Gospel in our teaching and preaching. If there's a proof of faith or a faith theorem to solve, it's this: we embody the memories of those who lived the faith before us. That's not very scientific or mathematical. But it is what we do. Every time we climb into a pulpit or get behind an altar or throw on a purple stole for confession, we give flesh and bone in the present hour to a living relationship with the Divine, the God who created us and re-created us in Christ Jesus. They might kill us as sacrifices to God but one body is not The Body. As a church, our first ministry is to the memory of faith. Without that we are students without a text, students without a teacher.
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