Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed : blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. (Jn 20:23)
One of the remarkable things, my dear brethren, about the feast that we celebrated last Sunday, was that the greatest event in created time was hidden from our eyes.
To us is reserved the blessing promise by the Risen Christ, but what is this special blessing? It is not a material blessing. The fact that we have in this country everything we need to subsist, the fact that we do not live in danger of our lives, and the fact that we have people who care for us indicates that we are indeed blessed. But countless souls do not believe in the Risen Christ and are similarly blessed. In what then are we blessed?
We are blessed because we can LIVE BY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST which brings UNITY and PEACE and the PERFECTION OF CHARITY to our lives.
Faith is a supernatural gift of God which enables us to believe, without doubting, whatever God has revealed. A life lived in accordance with our faith, nourished by every word that falls from the mouth of God gives us UNITY IN OUR LIVES.
It is not just for religious activities, it touches every area of our lives, it is an “holistic lifestyle choice” as modern jargon might put it, but, unlike the holistic modes of living presented to us by the spirit of the age: by gurus, yoga instructors, management self-improvement panacea trainers or new age hippies, this holistic lifestyle DOES NOT TERMINATE IN SELF, in the big ego, in the fulfilling of personal goals which limit themselves to selfish ends. This holistic approach terminates in God; IT FINDS ITS END, ITS FINALITY IN GOD.
And the fruit of this life of faith, a faith that conquers the world is PEACE. It is a tranquillity of order. Everything in our lives is ordered to the end which is God. This is true for the individual and for the whole of society if it is united in faith.
A life of faith not only brings unity to our lives and peace, it enables us that greatest of privileges which is the POSSIBILITY OF LOVING GOD BY FAITH.
In heaven there is no faith and there is no hope because the saints see what they could not see on earth and have attained that ultimate good which they earnestly hoped for here below. They love what they see clearly. For us, however, we must love by faith and this is a wonderful thing.
Imagine a soldier going away to war, and leaving his fiancé behind. While they are separated - perhaps for many years- they are constrained to love each other by faith. Their love must be free of all suspicion, jealousy and despair. If it is so, then this love is a pure a beautiful love.
Here on earth we are called to love Jesus in the same way. We are unable to see Him, to hear Him clearly and intimately, we have no material consolation to our senses; we are called to love Him by faith which makes our love particularly beautiful and powerful. And if we really do love Him, then we would want our love to be like this. St. Theresa of the Child Jesus thanked God for this life precisely because it permitted her to love with faith. AND THIS IS A GREAT BLESSING.
There is one more blessing we learn of in the Epistle today: Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, our faith. (I Jn 4).
Let us beg, therefore, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the perfection of the virtue of faith in the hidden Resurrection so that the blessing promised by Our Lord - that unity, peace and divine charity of a life centred on God - might overcometh the whole world for Him!