Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/28/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

God has revealed Himself to us. He is not hidden.

Jesus is the One in whom all the promises of God find their fulfillment and response. He is the answer to every human question, the fulfillment of every authentic human need, the balm of healing for every human wound, the satisfaction of every authentic human desire, and the way to authentic human freedom and flourishing.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/28/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Evangelism, salvation, Good News, Yes, happiness, faith, encounter, Gospel, Jesus Christ, Deacon Keith Fournier


Who Do You Say That I Am?  Jesus is the Yes of God and We Are Invite to Say Yes to Him

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - The Gospel I proclaim at Mass today is taken from St. Luke, "Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" They said in reply, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, 'One of the ancient prophets has arisen.'" Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said in reply, "The Christ of God." (Lk 9:18-22).

The same question is asked of each of us and how we answer determines who we will become and how we will live.

There is another biblical text I would like to share. It is taken from St. Paul's letter to the Corinthians,  "Brothers and sisters: As God is faithful, our word to you is not "yes" and "no." For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us, Silvanus and Timothy and me, was not "yes" and "no, " but "yes" has been in him."
 
"For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him; therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory. But the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God; he has also put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment" (2 Corinthians 1:18-22)

As a Deacon of the Church I go from the ambo to the altar and into the street - into a world filled with disappointment and pain. In those streets - and in that world - I have the privilege of giving to others what has been freely given to me, the great gift of God, His "Yes" in and through His Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the One in whom all the promises of God find their fulfillment and response. He is the answer to every human question, the fulfillment of every authentic human need, the balm of healing for every human wound, the satisfaction of every authentic human desire, and the way to authentic human freedom and flourishing.

One of the obstacles I find in giving Him to others is a wall often built around human hearts and minds. There are many misconceptions about religious faith. So often in ministry, one finds oneself not being asked to actually respond to someone's heartfelt hunger for God, but rather, being subjected to automatic replay messages from the past.

The word "Gospel" literally means "Good News". There is Good News! God has revealed Himself to us. He is not hidden. The word "revelation" literally means to "unveil", to make known. This is what occurred, is occurring, and will occur in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the Self-Revelation of God.

This God who fashioned the Universe is not simply a principle to be reflected upon, leading us to a set of propositions. He has been manifested, unveiled to us in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is in receiving this Divine Self-manifestation, hearing this "Yes" and believing, that we find the very meaning of our own lives as we enter into the life of faith.

As a young man, I began the practice of law, a profession that provided a backdrop for decades of my life. I was an assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Steubenville Ohio. The Chief prosecutor, my "boss" was a truly good man, in search of life's deeper meaning. He was also a non-practicing Jew who had lost touch with the great faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yet, his upbringing had planted a hunger for God in him.

There was no pretense in this man. He was often misunderstood by others. His professional competence, though quite effective, led to his developing an external air that others often misread as haughty. I knew better. One morning, right before I was to appear in Court, I walked in on my friend in a sad and vulnerable moment.

Circumstances in his personal life had left him with no more wind in his sails. He was depressed and groping for a rudder. I empathized with Him and listened as he unpacked his pain. At the end of this precious moment, this meeting of persons, he looked right into my eyes and shared words that I will never forget:

"Keith, if I were ever to believe as you do, God would have to become a human being, a person, as real as you are sitting in front of me." I responded, "He has done just that my friend". I then proceeded to share with him God's "Yes", Jesus Christ. That experience deepened my lifelong passion to be able to give God's "Yes" to others.

That is what St. Paul is saying in the passage with which I began this article. He is addressing very real people in the church at Corinth like you and me. They were struggling to keep their faith alive in a culture that militated against its claims. Sound familiar? They were also at odds with one another in a nascent Christian community beset with discord. 

He kept his message wonderfully simple, reminding them that in Jesus Christ they could find the Father's "Yes" to the deepest longing of their hearts -that in and through Jesus Christ, they were also called to give themselves back to God, and, in so doing, they became the bearers of the Gospel for others. That was the message that I shared with my friend. That is our message to the world of our own age.

This holy exchange, where God gives Himself to us and we reciprocate by giving ourselves to Him, forms the foundation of all of the wonderful letters of St. Paul. He understood it well because he lived it. That's right; He lived in the "Yes", the holy exchange, and was being transformed in its fire.

In Jesus Christ we hear and see the "Yes" of God to our deepest human need and aspiration. Our "Yes" in response to His Yes, can lead us into a dynamic new way of living.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Living Faith

Take Pope Francis' quiz: Do you have any of these 15 spiritual illnesses? Watch

Image of Pope Francis prays will a disfigured man. What matters more however, is what our soul looks like on the inside. Are we disfigured inside?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has provided a list of 15 things he wants the Curia to be on guard against. Describing each of the 15 conditions as a disease, the Holy Father spoke addressing the Curia itself, in his Christmas address. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Listing 15 ... continue reading


'Every word has a spark of fire and life inside it!' Pope Francis urges the Catholic media to be wise with words Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Words are one of the most powerful things in the world today. It is the media's duty to distribute information using words; how those words are used means everything. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "In a world where words and images are used to manipulate or to ... continue reading


No one should be hungry during the Christmas season

Image of

By Tony Magliano

In early December, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) stopped feeding 1.7 million Syrian refugees. For two weeks these poor, battered fellow human beings who had fled the misery of civil war, and the barbarism of the "Islamic State," were told there is no ... continue reading


HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPE FRANCIS! Beloved Pontiff turns 78 today Watch

Image of Happy Birthday, Pope Francis!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY POPE FRANCIS! Today is Pope Francis' 78th birthday and well-wishers celebrated the day singing and dancing for the Holy Father in St. Peter's Square. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Born on December 17, 1936, the man who would become Pope Francis has ... continue reading


Turned into the wild, Pope Francis offers hope to displaced faithful in Middle East Watch

Image of Patriarch Younan said a major focus of their synod was on priestly formation since their communities have faced so much upheaval.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Times are hard and arduous for those who practice their Catholic faith in the Middle East. In a special audience with Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem Joseph III Younan, along with about 350 of his faithful from the Syriac Catholic Church, Pope Francis offered words ... continue reading


Mary hailed as 'great missionary' who brought Gospel to Americas by Pope Francis Watch

Image of Pope Francis and the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis along with thousands of Catholics from across the Atlantic celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the Vatican. The Pope celebrated Mass to the sounds and rhythms of many of South America's indigenous peoples. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Your Friday Feel Good Story: Watch what happens when the mic goes out during the American National Anthem at a hockey game in Canada! Watch

Image of Ina  heartwarming gesture of respect, Canadians sing the Star Spangled Banner when the microphone game out before a game featuring a team from the USA.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Here's your Friday Feel Good story! Enjoy your Friday and don't forget to share! During a hockey game in Canada between American and Canadian players, the microphone failed, silencing the singer. Without audio, the Americans would be without their national anthem, but ... continue reading


Irenaeus of Lyon on Eve and Mary

Image of An Icon of Ireneaus of Lyon

By Ireneaus of Lyon

The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to ... continue reading


Taking the Kingdom by Force: Learning from John the Baptizer Watch

Image of The choice is ours. Just as it was with John the Baptizer. He shows us the way to give away our freedom in love - and then find it anew in the One who truly sets us free. (John 8:36). The kingdom of heaven is still being taken by force. The force of love. The Lord is seeking men and women in this hour who will take the kingdom by force like John the Baptizer.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

John the Baptizer was a man of Joy because he was a man of true humility! Humility is a powerful weapon when wielded by a soldier of love like John. He was a man who understood that life wasn't all about him. He emptied himself willingly and was thus able to ... continue reading


Faith restored in humanity! A random act of kindness changes a woman's life forever during the Christmas season Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While protests are wreaking havoc all around the world, wars are being fought, and people are being brutally killed, the warm sensation and fuzzy feeling of Christmas gets overshadowed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although good deeds and random acts of kindness ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Samuel 1:24-28
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, ... Read More

Psalm, First Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8
1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:46-56
46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Chaeromon
December 22: Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the persecution was ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter