By Father Frank Hernandez
The letters of St. Paul in the New Testament are important in our faith because they help us understand how to live our faith after the resurrection of Jesus. They are the first instructions after the teaching of Jesus. St. Paul’s original name was Saul, he was a Jew and an educated man during his life. After the resurrection, he would arrest early Christian believers and take them to the authorities for punishment. We know of Paul’s conversion, to recognizing the Risen Lord and following Him like a faithful disciple, spreading the news of the Gospel and helping Gentiles, Non-believers, know who Jesus is as our Savior.
In the letters of St. Paul he uses the word Faithful as he gives instruction to the people he writes too. The reason for that is because these letters come after he hears of a struggle, disagreement, or error the people are committing once he leaves those communities. He reminds them of how they are to follow the Lord, follow his teaching of Christ and finally to be faithful to the faith and person of Jesus. Faithfulness is important if we believe in the Lord.
The question for all of us, not only for the people in the letters of Paul is do we remain faithful to the Lord like we should? Answer to that question is NO, we are not as faithful as we would like. For some it is easy, but for others it has its struggles. When our lives are in order, we have no problems, life is going well; it is easy to remain faithful to the Lord. We are happy in our lives and have no difficulties, it is easy to remain faithful, it is easy to pray and it is easy to trust in the Lord. But when we have a struggle, difficulty in our lives, it is not as easy to remain faithful to the Lord. We begin to question the relationship of our faith with Him. We begin to question our identity as a person and a person of faith. We ask, why did the Lord let this happen? Did the Lord hear my prayer? Is the Lord even real? Those doubts enter our heart and lives and it is not easy to remain faithful to the Lord in those dark moments in our lives. But I tell people we need to still pray during the moment of struggle and the trials in our lives. We need to pray MORE in those moments. Because when we do face a struggle, the first thing we leave in our relationship with the Lord, we stop praying to Him. Once we want to come back to Him, it is hard because we stopped.
The words of St. Paul should be real for us. How can we remain faithful to the Lord always and trust that He is walking with us in our moment of joy and struggles? How can we remain faithful always?