Sunday Sermon for June 21, 2015, the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary time, Year B

Readings: Job 38:1, 8-11; 2Cor 5:114-17; Mk 4:35-41
We live in a world where there is a conflict between faith and science. We need to be clear: this conflict is not caused by the Church nor by those with faith. Rather, it is caused by those without faith who try to make faithful souls look like fools. In other words, the suggestion is that if you have faith you must also be unthinking.

As we have considered previously, although the “big bang theory” was developed by a Catholic priest in order to prove that God created the world, it has been turned and used, instead, to “prove” that God did not create the world. Rather, they say, everything simply evolved. As I have mentioned, people today will talk about the big bang caused by two atoms racing across space and colliding with one another. The problem is that they fail to account for both the existence of the atoms and their movement.

For those of us with faith, we believe absolutely that God is the Creator of all things. As the Creator of all things, He is also the Lord of all creation. There are two elements of creation that can choose whether or not to do the will of the Creator. Everything else in creation is subject to will of God and His laws. Angels and human persons can choose to accept or to reject God’s rule. Even if they reject it, however, this does not mean that God is not in control.

God has given to persons, angelic and human, a mind and a free will. These gifts are intended to allow us to embrace the truth and to act in love. If we use our minds to reject the truth or we use our will to violate others or to act selfishly, we act in a way that is contrary to the intention of the Creator and we bring chaos into the order which God created. What is amazing is that we then fear the chaos we have caused; more amazing is that we refuse to acknowledge the cause of the chaos, but rationalize how it came about.

Every human person is called by God to live in the manner in which we were created. However, for those who have been baptized, we are called to live as a new creation, as children of God, partakers of the divine nature, and heirs of Heaven. We are called to live in this world by the faith we pronounced on the day of our baptism. This is what St. Paul tells us in the second reading where he speaks of our being a new creation, but this means that we have died to ourselves and to this world so that we can live for Christ Who died for us.

We are all baptized and we profess our faith in God. I think we can all agree with the first reading which makes clear that God created the seas. We will even proclaim our faith in Jesus Who spoke to the wind and the sea and calmed them. We believe in these events and profess our faith that He has complete power to be able to do such things. Making these professions is excellent, but we tend to fall as soon as the profession is made.

Ask yourself, for instance, if you have truly died to your own self and live your life for Christ. Do you have confidence that He is leading you? He rebuked His Apostles in the Gospel reading today because of their lack of faith. They were afraid of the wind and the waves; they we terrified thinking they were perishing. Like us, they could have professed their faith in Jesus, but they were not yet living for Him; they had not yet died to self.

You are a new creation, but you are still a human person with a mind and a free will. These are now to be employed not just to live a natural life, but to live in a supernatural manner. The reality of this is already present and the grace is being offered to do it. The problem is with the will. Sometimes we will say that know or understand, and that is certainly true, but one can choose to follow the Lord even when we do not fully understand. This is where the faith we profess has to come in.

If we believe that God created everything and that He is in control of everything, then wouldn’t it make sense to use our free will to give ourselves to Him and allow Him to be in control of our lives? Our sins have caused much chaos; give yourself to God and know His peace. You see, for those with faith, there is no conflict between faith and science.

Fr. Altier’s column appears regularly in The Wanderer, a national Catholic weekly published in St. Paul, Minn. For information about subscribing to The Wanderer, please visit