January 14, 2022

Guest Column / Jesus Figueroa

Faith must be at the heart of what we believe

Sam RaspWriting a column sometimes presents a dilemma, especially when you try to link two topics. Those variables should lead us as we read. Two topics I have reflected on recently are religion and administration.

Religion has faith as its cornerstone. Administration requires planning, organization, direction and control. In examining these two concepts, I see how religion and administration can be linked.

By definition, religion is the belief in and worship of God. As Catholic Christians, we believe our Creator sent his son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior. He gave us an important connection with him, and we are taught that “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).

What helps us to do things in accordance with our religious principles? Knowledge and administration are sciences of decision, tools we can use to form our faith.

“And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ ” (Lk 2:49). In the narrative of our Lord’s life, we find him questioning his parents. We understand he was fulfilling a mission given by God. It will happen again and again in sacred Scripture, where God leads his Son, or delegates that he does something, a concept very much used in administration.

Also, when he reached Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple courts and began cleansing the temple area, driving out those who were buying and selling. In this example of administration, Jesus rids those that were doing wrong in his Father’s house: “Then he taught them saying, ‘Is it not written: “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples”? But you have made it a den of thieves’ ” (Mk 11:17).

Reflecting upon the pillars of administration—planning, organization, direction and control—we learn at a young age our parents plan out our early years and, thankfully, for many of us, their plan includes baptizing and raising us in the Catholic faith.

How did they organize so this planning would be effective? Mom and Dad had to establish rules to encourage our belief and faith in God. They had to share moments, times to guide us, to explain to us, and teach us what it is to be Christian and Catholic.

They provided “direction”—a key word—during our walk of faith. They took us to Mass each Sunday, explaining that is one of the best ways to get to know God. They explained the importance of the sacraments. They provided examples of how important it is for families to be united through faith.

Finally, control is the last pillar. This concept includes our parents continuing to strive to help us be better Catholics. They ask: why do we have such an attitude about something? Or why do we use language that hurts them or others? The principles we learn and our faith will, God willing, help us to not repeat our failures. We must also learn generosity and humility should be keystones of our lives, not arrogance and selfishness.

We must develop a faith we believe in, a faith to do things our Lord calls us to do.

If God is central to our lives, we will have principles we follow in our lives—be it at home, at our jobs and in all we say and do.

(Jesus Figueroa is a member of SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral Parish in Indianapolis.)

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