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Ministries, Charisms, Fruits - 20 Faithfulness

Sunday, June 14, 2009
The seventh fruit of the Holy Spirit that St Paul identifies is faithfulness. Faithfulness is at the very heart of the Christian vocation, of what it means to be a Christian. When we speak of faithfulness we often cite the qualities of trustworthiness, fidelity or reliability of an individual. However, as we are aware, all too often we fall short of these ideals, and as we are reminded in Proverbs 20:6, “most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?” We must therefore look not so much to others but to God as the true example of faithfulness.

Throughout the Old Testament we are constantly reminded of God’s promises to us, despite all our sinful folly, and He is shown to be faithful always, as we read for example in Deuteronomy 7:9, “therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”.

The most striking example of this faithfulness was in God fulfilling his promises in the person of Jesus Christ. In the life of Christ and in His death for the sake of our redemption we can see clearly the true meaning of faithfulness. God does not falter. He will not break his covenant with us. He will not abandon us no matter how severe our failings. But for this faithfulness to be of real benefit we need to show our faithfulness to Him. God cannot break His word but we can and we need to cultivate carefully and with commitment our faithfulness to His teachings. We must grow in the virtues and not neglect our duties and responsibilities to our neighbour and ultimately to Him. So often these acts of faithfulness can be played out in the smallest ways and we cannot hope to grow in Christ unless we observe his law in small matters as well as great.

Most obviously our faithfulness can be shown in our commitment to the Church and in the ways in which we fulfil our duties to family and friends but we must also not neglect what it is to be faithful to ourselves. In being honest and true to ourselves we will be true to God and be able to look forward with hope to the coming of his Kingdom. “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

Graham Hunt OP


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