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quod pro nobis traditum est

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Faith of the Fathers

Father's Day happened to be a good fit for the First Sunday after Trinity. . .

Hear Father Abraham's words to the rich man in torment,
"'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither
will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' "
(Luke 16)

Some fathers believe they do their children a favor
by not "forcing" them to come to church. The rich man
thought his brothers could be convinced and saved by the
resurrection from the dead. So we seek signs of success
or we wait until tragedy before we are ready to hear God's Word.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The
hearing of Moses and the prophets, the apostles and evangelists,
unites both parents and children in the one true faith in our Father
who is in heaven. This faith is created, nourished and strengthened
on earth in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church of our Lord
Jesus Christ.

The Church is paid for with the Lord's blood and this shed blood
pours out forgiveness of sins in sacramental realities. It is like the beggar,
Lazarus, who has been carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom.
He lives forever in the mercy of God.

The mercy of the Lord endures forever. From generation to generation
the Church lives by the Lord's mercy. The Church lives in the holy
tradition of receiving and hearing the Scriptures, being united to Christ
and His Church in the Holy Eucharist, and confessing that faith in the
Creeds. This is not a tradition that we are embarrased to pass on
to our children.

Abraham believed the Lord and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
(Gen. 15) As those baptized into Christ we are made children of
Abraham. Like Abraham we share in Christ's righteousness.
"If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus
Christ the righteous." (1 John 2)

This is the faith of the fathers, theirs and ours, handed down from
generation to generation of those who love God and keep His
commandments. "We love Him because He first loved us . . .
And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves
God must love his brother also." (1 John 4)

A father shows his love for his children when he brings them to
his Father's house. Here is where our children hear the Scriptures
with the Church and are drawn to see the face of the Father
in the face of His Son.

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