Your Work of Faith

(October 22, 2017)

Bottom line: We give thanks to God for your work of faith.

This month I am in Peru for the work of the Mary Bloom Center and also to offer a six-month Mass for my Peruvian godson - Father Narciso Valencia. Today´s second reading spoke to me: "We give thanks to God always for you...calling to mind your work of faith."

I got to know Narciso as a bright, good-hearted seminarian. In 1989 I had the honor being "padrino" (sponsor) of his ordination. His work as a priest made an impression on me, especially his ministry to youth. Over the last 8 years we were able to work out visits to the United States where he won the hearts of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic parishioners.

His "work of faith" was gentle but steady and generous. I remember times when we would meet with young adults who often invited us for further discussion and fellowship. I'd tell Fr. Valencia, "you go, I am old." I have to admit I didn't go even when I was young, but Fr. Valencia sensed that time together mattered in forming disciples. He was the kind of young (and middle-age) priest we all want.

During this visit to Peru I learned a couple things about his work of faith. His brother told me that when he went identify Narciso's body, his skull was battered beyond recognition. However on his chest, near his heart, was the impression of a small crucifix he wore.

I learned something else, something I imagined but never heard confirmed: Fr. Valencia was a candidate for bishop. What a great bishop he would have made! What counts of course is not one's office but the work of faith. Faith makes possible a relationship with God in Jesus. As St. Paul says:

"We give thanks to God always for...your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ." Amen.


Spanish Version

From Archives (Twenty-Ninth Ordinary Sunday, Year A):

2014: Trust No Matter What Week 4
2011: Fighting Government Encroachment
2008: Render Unto Caesar
2005: God Owns It All
2002: The Trap of Idolatry
1999: What Belongs to God

Other Homilies

Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C

Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)

Take the Plunge Bible Study (audio resources)

Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.

Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)

Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)

Parish Picture Album


Bulletin (St. Mary's Parish)

MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru