Today, I was blessed to participate in the confirmation mass of the youth in my parish in Singapore. The archbishop of Singapore celebrated the mass and he gave a really good homily that moved my parents to tears.
The bishop emphasized on the importance of being responsible to growing in our faith – even after confirmation. Seek out people that are good witnesses to the faith, seek out programs that help you grow, go find activities and friends that help to protect, nurture and grow the gift that God has given you!! Your faith!!
He then turned to the parents and godparents who were present, and asked them if they have been faithful witnesses to their children and godchildren.
Do they instruct their children? Do they tell them and explain what is right and what is wrong? Do they even know much about the faith? Or is their faith weak? And, like the man who buried the talent because he had a fearful relationship with his master, is their relationship with God fearful?
More importantly, have they RISKED anything for God? Disciplining their children, risking arguments, cold wars, tantrums and bad attitudes? Making changes in their lives and lifestyles so that they can walk the talk, be a WITNESS to the FAITH and a mentor to their children? Sacrificing time with friends to spend time with children, or the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament?
Have YOU risked anything for God?
I was an avid rock climber during my college and high school days. Even though I was afraid of heights, I loved the thrill of being in a dangerous position on the face of the wall or cliff. Being anchored down by my harness and a piece of rope thinner than my arm – probably also thinner than my bones—feeling the wind blow 10 meters above ground and losing the grip from my hands... I loved the thrill.
Even when bouldering in the gym or outdoors, there was always that LIMIT that I had. There was always that moment of being AFRAID to TAKE THE RISK. Because I would slip and fall, because I would not be able to reach that hold, because my arms and fingers are aching and they will just give way, because I am too short, because I’m not strong enough, because my technique is bad, because I am tried … because… because… because.
Well, honestly, it is really because I was just TOO AFRAID. I am sure you can relate. I am sure you have felt this before.
I was scared. I was terrified! Fear always was an obstacle in the way of me achieving my goal. Fear was always in the way of me grasping my dream. FEAR was always IN THE WAY of me being confident of the ability God gave me.
When on the rock, we all reach a point where we have to decide – do I give up? Or do I PUSH myself? And take the RISK?
Many times, I realized that the fear was only an illusion. The fear was an obstacle that I COULD OVERCOME. And the fear was not real. It prevented me from doing so many things, but when I took the risk, I thought to myself, well, that wasn’t so bad! There was a sense of accomplishment, but more... there was a sense of freedom. Adrenaline junkies – you guys get what I mean.
And if you think about it, the same can be said for our Faith.
Have you feared speaking to someone about the Faith? About YOUR Faith?
Have you shared your testimony of how God has touched you? It does not need to be fancy stuff, just whatever struck you in the homily, or during a talk, or whatever you read or saw on the street.
God is EVERYWHERE.
He is CONSTANTLY, CONSTANTLY speaking to us! Always wooing us like a boy madly in love with us. Always protecting us, providing for us, spending time with us and showering us with his love like devoted parents. This is our God. Our mighty, amazing God.
God is WORTH THE RISK!! He is worth the risk!!
We risk so much for something so little… why can’t we do it for God?
We risk our health just to fit into clothes, we risk our lives just to get that adrenaline rush… that lasts only thirty seconds.
Why the fear when it comes to God? Why the shame when it comes to speaking about Him? Why run away from perfect love?
St. John encourages us when he says that “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment.” (1 John 4: 18).
God is not someone to be feared. | God is love. The purest form of love that is.
God is not someone we should be ashamed of. | God is so proud of us, he tells everyone about how great we are!!
God is not someone who harms us. | God always has the best things for us. Plans that are for our happiness, love and joy!
If we do not TAKE THE RISK with God, we will NEVER be able to find out what he has in store for us. We will NEVER be able to DISCOVER the TREASURE that HE is GIVING TO US. We will NEVER KNOW GOD in a deeper way. If we do not TAKE THE RISK, we will never grow.
So take that leap of Faith. Do what God is asking of you. Answer the call. Begin saying grace before meals, frequent mass in weekdays, pray the rosary with your friends, or even your family.
“If we do not risk anything for God we will never do anything great for Him.” – St Louis De Montfort.