Here is my homily from this morning. God bless all!
The question I would ask all of us to think about and meditate on throughout today is this, “What have I ventured for the faith? What have I put at risk because I say I believe?”
We hear in the Gospel today of Jesus insisting on continuing his journey to Jerusalem. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is on the road to Jerusalem, the holy city, where he knows he will suffer, die and then rise again. Despite the obstacles that stood in his way, including Peter who tried to dissuade him from going and, as we heard today, even some Pharisees telling him to turn around because they were plotting to kill him, Jesus insists on being faithful to the will of the Father, and risking everything he ventured forth to fulfill his mission. He ventured all because of his fidelity to the Father.
John Henry Newman in the late 19th Century wrote a wonderful article entitled, “The Venture of Faith” in which he challenges all believers to ask themselves, as I asked you today, to consider what it is they have ventured, risked, by claiming to have faith in Jesus Christ and his promises. We enjoy, do we not, the beautiful words of Jesus in the Gospels. We enjoy the homily filled with general truths and encouragements. When, though, the teachings of Jesus begin to require of us to apply them to real situations in our lives, we tend to recoil, pull back. We tend to think, “Woe! That is going too far!” and we begin to risk little, venture little, even though we call ourselves Christians.
Ultimately, our faith requires we risk it all. We venture everything. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then our risk, our venture is the most foolish of all ventures. Yet, he did rise. His promises are trustworthy. Do we in turn have the faith to venture everything we have to live out the faith we have been given?
Venture forth with confidence. Give it your all. Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God and he promises eternal life to all who follow him.
Thanks be to God!