Monday, September 17, 2018
Today, in Mercy, Jesus, in amazement, praises the faith of the centurion. What was it about this man’s faith that could astound even God? How would my faith make Jesus feel?
We are taught that faith is a gift. We can’t earn it or acquire it on our own. We can though – once we have been given it – exercise it, polish it, cherish it and share it in order to make it stronger.
What is faith exactly?
Well, first off, we get faith mixed up with a lot of things that it is not.
Faith is not the same as religion or religious denomination. Faith transcends Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism or Islam. These are the only frameworks in which we sometimes practice our faith.
Faith isn’t devotions, or prayers, or the formulas we pull out when we are in trouble. It is not the Prayer to St. Anthony when we can’t find our car keys. It is not the novena we say to receive a special favor. These are only practices which allow us to express our faith in human terms.
And most importantly, faith is not an ideology by which we exceptionalize and elevate ourselves, suggesting that others are less because of their choice of religious practice.
If we take a clue from today’s Gospel, we could describe faith like this:
- It is the unshakable understanding that all Creation belongs to God, including every aspect of my life.
- It is the trust that God wills our good in all things.
- It is the sure confidence that God abides with us in all circumstances.
- It is the giving of my heart to this abiding God in a relationship of mutual love.
- It is a life that bespeaks these confidences.
The centurion must have had this kind of faith and it delighted Jesus. Let’s pray for a faith that can do that for God!
Music: Be Still – David Kauffman