What is faith? Many ask that question. Some fear they have “lost” faith. Some feel they don’t have enough faith. So, what is it? Faith is defined in our second reading today from the letter to the Hebrews. “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were well attested.” Then the author points out Abraham, our faith in faith, for our edification and emulation. In a mini biography, the ancient writer reminds us of the salient moments of Abraham’s life, each one of which was made possible by faith. By faith Abraham obeyed, not knowing where he was to go; by faith he sojourned, by faith he received power; by faith he offered up Isaac. Abraham was able to be and to do all that God asked of him only because his entire life was driven and empowered by faith. We were given the same faith of Abraham at our baptism. We just haven’t realized it!
As we look again today at Abraham, and as we remember the fervor of the early Christians, let us be renewed in our belief and newly fortified by our faith. Faith will require that we sojourn in this world without the luxury of setting our own itinerary and without full knowledge of where God will lead us. Faith requires that we believe even when it seems more practical not to. Faith also will ask us to surrender our Isaac to God. Just as Abraham fully relied on Isaac to keep his heritage and his name alive, each of us has an Isaac – someone or something without which we think we cannot live. Even that, which is so precious to us, must be surrendered to God if we are truly to live by faith. And genuine faith is more than the Sunday obligation or a time set apart each day for prayer. Faith is seeing another in need and stopping to help rather than pass them by. Faith is speaking out against injustice and voting according to our conscience. Faith is letting our Catholic Christian principles guide our lives rather than being swept along by popular opinion. Faith is the willingness to speak out when it is safer to remain silent. Faith is believing without seeing, praying without ceasing and trusting without proof that God is, that Jesus is, and that the Spirit dwells within. Living a life of faith is not easy – but with God, all things are possible!!
Have a blessed week!