8th July – Memorial of Our Lady.

the-love-of-god1On ferial Saturdays in Ordinary Time, I usually celebrate the Mass of Our Lady of Sorrows. This commemorates Our Lady’s enduring faithfulness to her YES that she gave to the Archangel Gabriel at the Annunciation. This enduring faithfulness reached its peak when she stood at the foot of the Cross on Good Friday.

This is a related meditation by Dr Micha Jazz of Premier Christian Media based on  “For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ” (Hebrews 3:1).

I can’t remember how often I’ve returned to the first time I made my initial response to God. When disappointment strikes or I can’t get things my way, I will react against God and tell him precisely my feelings in that moment and attempt to walk away. Yet as I contemplate abandoning my walk of faith, I cannot get beyond that initial call and fascination that opened my heart to the possibility of an eternal deity.

When I took my first steps towards God, it was no great event; a sermon and an opportunity to explore further. Yet, even back then, I knew something incredible had shifted within my understanding. I had entertained ‘spiritual thoughts’ and investigated Buddhism along with a variety of esoteric groups I’d unearthed. So perhaps I was ready for some meaningful spiritual experience. But this was a true turning point, far more impactful than I ever realised at the time. I knew that I was now gazing upon the source of all Life and there was coherence in my historical and philosophical understanding for the first time.

Like a fish on the end of a line, I fought hard against being landed for fear of losing my freedom, if not life itself. Yet, in many ways it was my freedom I was yielding that I might become student and servant of the One who created all.

The greatest challenge is maintaining consistency in faith through life. God invites me regularly to return and consider my initial choice. Why did I take that first decision and a series of further decisions? In returning to scrutinise that choice, I know deep within the very core of my being that I encountered God, and I continue to grow in confidence of this. Returning to consider our initial faith encounter will reveal much about the nature of our faith and our view of the God that we worship.

QUESTION: How did you first encounter God? Is that love still fresh, or in need of some work?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, renew my faith, love and trust in you today.