Recent columns written by our Pastor, Fr. Carmichael and by our Mission Director, Will Rein have challenged us to make ourselves a neighbor to those who are farthest away; a true sign of loving as the Lord loves: bearing all things, hope in all things, and enduring all things. Honestly, this takes great courage to step towards living and loving our faith in the world. Personally, to overcome my fear I find myself having to constantly step towards people and not away. I think of what Jesus would do and what Jesus did.

“Love alone is credible.”

– Hans Urs Von Balthasar

The Incarnation itself was the ultimate, “stepping in,” with Jesus coming as man not for his own good but for ours. Jesus was baptized in the River Jordan, not because he needed to be baptized, but by his immersion in water, he made the water holy. By the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity, and with the gifts of the Holy Spirit we are made able to stand in the person of Christ in the world. We are better able to step into and not away from the practice of the moral life that is animated by charity and which gives us spiritual freedom, not as a slave to fear, but as sons and daughters” responding to the love of him ”who first loved us.”[CCC1828]

Love brings joy to others, and this love is best expressed by the virtue of Charity, which helps us to “love God above all things for his own sake and our neighbors as ourselves for the love of God ”[CCC1822]. Love helps us to break the limits of ourselves and helps us to embrace the awkward, finding ways to show love, a kind word, an enthusiastic welcome, the sign of peace, or a smile and handshake.

“Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened
neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with
you wherever you go.” _Joshua 1:9