I choose the title, On an Even Keel. Our “keel” is that important structure that keeps us balanced and afloat. My job description and the diocesan curriculum define a call much as Jesus’ call to the fisherman…to be disciples. My task is to minister to families so that they will not just know the stories of their faith but will live out those stories in their own lives. The boat is such a symbol of our faith community. Think of those stories of Jesus and his disciples when they put out to sea and how a firm understanding of faith was essential to keeping the boat on an even keel. So it is with us today.
I look at our families and remember back to the baptismal profession of faith, “Do you believe what the Church believes about the Father, Son, and Spirit” and the person replies, “I do.” Saint Paul tells us that “faith comes from what is heard” (Romans 10:17). Our faith is not something we think up or think out for ourselves; rather, it comes as a given, something we encounter from the outside, that opens us up to what is beyond our own conceiving. We then continue to ponder so as to understand it more deeply and live it more authentically. Our faith is inherently social; we receive from others who have come before us, who hand it on to us so that we in turn can accept it, enter into it, be formed by it and live from it. Then it falls to us, in turn, to proclaim and hand it on to others so they also may hear and, by God’s grace, accept and enter into these saving mysteries. Through this entire process faith remains always and first of all a gift and grace from God through the Holy Spirit.
St. Francis De Sales Parish
Holy Redeemer Church
Church Located at 535 Riverside Drive, Salisbury, MD