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October 10, 2014

St. Francis Borgia, S.J.

Galatians 3: 7-14

Brothers and sisters: Realize that it is those who have faith who are children of Abraham. Scripture, which saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, Through you shall all the nations be blessed.

Consequently, those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham who had faith. For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law. And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for the one who is righteous by faith will live. But the law does not depend on faith; rather, the one who does these things will live by them.

Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Blessed to Have Faith

As we celebrate the feast of St. Francis Borgia, S.J., I recall that he, after marrying and fathering a family and being widowed, made provision for his children, resigned his hereditary dukedom in favor of his eldest son, and became a Jesuit priest. He was elected eventually as the third Father General of this new order. Thus did his faith lead him from a life at the court to a commitment to the Jesuit vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

In each of our lives, faith can open us to new opportunities, make different demands, and call forth latent talents. After practicing finance law for 30 years, I left my legal career to help found the Ignatian Volunteer Corps in Chicago.  Instead of drafting indentures, I was pounding the pavement in Chicago and visiting social service agencies and schools as I sought placements for this nascent chapter of Ignatian volunteers committed to serving the materially poor and marginalized.

As Chicago Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich commented recently, Christians should be prepared to “step into the unknown…because it is in the very unknown that we really do encounter Christ.”

My own “step into the unknown” greatly enriched my faith, enhanced my spiritual journey, and helped serve those at the margins of society. Today let us reflect: how am I being called now by my faith in Christ, to “step into the unknown”?

―George Penman Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found Chicago’s Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and three grandchildren.

Prayer

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” (Martin Luther King, Jr. paraphrased.)

Lord, grant me the courage to take that first step into the unknown, and to live my faith as Christ calls me.  In this way will I be blessed.


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October 10, 2014

St. Francis Borgia, S.J.

Galatians 3: 7-14

Brothers and sisters: Realize that it is those who have faith who are children of Abraham. Scripture, which saw in advance that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, foretold the good news to Abraham, saying, Through you shall all the nations be blessed.

Consequently, those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham who had faith. For all who depend on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, Cursed be everyone who does not persevere in doing all the things written in the book of the law. And that no one is justified before God by the law is clear, for the one who is righteous by faith will live. But the law does not depend on faith; rather, the one who does these things will live by them.

Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed be everyone who hangs on a tree that the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Blessed to Have Faith

As we celebrate the feast of St. Francis Borgia, S.J., I recall that he, after marrying and fathering a family and being widowed, made provision for his children, resigned his hereditary dukedom in favor of his eldest son, and became a Jesuit priest. He was elected eventually as the third Father General of this new order. Thus did his faith lead him from a life at the court to a commitment to the Jesuit vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

In each of our lives, faith can open us to new opportunities, make different demands, and call forth latent talents. After practicing finance law for 30 years, I left my legal career to help found the Ignatian Volunteer Corps in Chicago.  Instead of drafting indentures, I was pounding the pavement in Chicago and visiting social service agencies and schools as I sought placements for this nascent chapter of Ignatian volunteers committed to serving the materially poor and marginalized.

As Chicago Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich commented recently, Christians should be prepared to “step into the unknown…because it is in the very unknown that we really do encounter Christ.”

My own “step into the unknown” greatly enriched my faith, enhanced my spiritual journey, and helped serve those at the margins of society. Today let us reflect: how am I being called now by my faith in Christ, to “step into the unknown”?

―George Penman Sullivan, Jr. is a Jesuit-educated lay leader who helped found Chicago’s Ignatian Volunteer Corps. He and his wife, Dorothy, live in Wilmette IL, and have four children and three grandchildren.

Prayer

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” (Martin Luther King, Jr. paraphrased.)

Lord, grant me the courage to take that first step into the unknown, and to live my faith as Christ calls me.  In this way will I be blessed.

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Please share the Good Word with your friends!