Sisters and Brothers in the Catholic faith! On this feast of the Baptism of the Lord we listen to the best source of knowledge about the Church and faith. I mean God the Father himself who speaks of Jesus: “This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.” If God the Father has got his confidence in Jesus his Son why should I doubt. The testimony of St Peter from the Acts of the Apostles draws from the same source as the Apostle says: “You must have heard about the recent happenings in Judea: about Jesus of Nazareth and how he began in Galilee, after John had been preaching baptism. God had anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and curing all who had fallen into the power of the devil.”
This is also the best source of knowledge about faith for us too. Very often what we watch on popular TV channels, on the internet or what we read in the newspapers comes from the people who lost their faith, for various reasons and they work on killing faith in others my injecting into minds and hearts of the audience the venom of doubt and pessimism. I am pretty sure that none of you would send your son or daughter before their wedding day to a person whose marriage broke down and who is bitter and angry. This person isn’t the best one to talk to about marriage. His or her view isn’t healthy. His or her failure in relationship doesn’t mean that it happens to everything. Year ago when I was leaving Poland for Australia I spoke to a man who lived in Oz for a few years. For him it didn’t work. He was disappointed with Down Under. According to him it was the worst place to go to. After 10 years in Australia I disagree with him but that year he took all the excitement and thrill I had at the outset of my new life.
My Dear Friends! Out there, there are people who are the last one to listen to about faith topics. What you get from them aren’t reliable arguments but their bitterness, doubts, failures etc. However what surprises me is that it is so easy to accept what they say. Nobody can stop you from listening to them and most likely it is impossible to avoid such voices, that’s why it is crucial for all of us who care about our relationship with God and who want to grow strong in faith to expose ourselves to people who love God and who live on what God says. These day there are so many great Catholic programs on TV or radio. The internet can be fabulous provider of materials that can stimulate our faith development. I must also say that I have been watching you collecting your copy of the weekly Catholic magazine. Even once I didn’t find a left over issue after the last Mass. You are wise in your search for materials that can support your faith. It may look inconspicuous but it is providing your family with something that can sustain you at the time of trial.
A couple of months ago I spoke with a missionary who comes from the Canada. He explained to me that in winter the authorities keep reminding people to have a survival kit in their cars when they travel as they may end up in the blizzard. The most important item of the survival kit is a candle and matches. It may be hard to believe but being stuck in the car during a blizzard for a few days a candle provides enough warmth to ensure surviving until the rescue can come. All these good Catholic magazines, TV programs, materials on the internet etc. are like this candle from the survival kit, but they aren’t just for emergency, they are to be our daily bread to ensure that we are not only protecting our own faith but that we also contribute to other people’s faith’ growth.