Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo, Bishop

We don’t like to talk about our failure. But, the fact of the matter is that most of us are losers in much of what we do. We are good in one or two things but lousy in most of the other areas. Not long after his election, Pope Francis said that one of the books that has been a leading influence in his thinking is A Theology of Failure by a Jesuit father John Navone, SJ.  In his book, the late Father Navone explains how Jesus lived patiently with failure. Like man in everything but sin, Jesus experienced failure and being a loser. He wept over Jerusalem which had not known the day of its visitation. His preaching failed to convert the crowds of people and he was crucified in disgrace. Navone said further that we should not fear failure because failure is everywhere.  It is part of life and there is transfiguration through failure.

In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul explains Israel’s failure to believe is not without purpose in the divine economy of salvation. After all, it is not a fatal fall; Israel’s stumbling over the Messiah has resulted in salvation for Gentiles. Furthermore, St. Paul hopes that through his ministry to the Gentiles, Israel will return to their faith. It is never easy to accept our failure, especially when you fail terribly. But revelation has been designed with losers in mind. Revelation is filled with words like salvation, repentance and forgiveness. Thus, it is only the losers and the sinners who need salvation, repentance, and forgiveness. Let us ponder and reflect on how being a loser fosters growth in our relationship with Christ who will transform our failures into blessings.

November 4th, 2017