Saturday, February 17, 2007

Faith in action

There was a wonderful line in the reading from the Letter to the Hebrews this morning at Mass: "Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen." What a powerful statement.

Typically people associate words like blind with faith - what you need to have is a blind faith, just trust in God. While trust in God is very important, there is nothing about faith that is blind. As a matter of fact, faith is all about seeing. "Faith is the realization of what is hoped for." This means that what we do through faith is reject the vision of reality that the world gives us and instead adopt the vision of reality that God gives us, a vision that is not confined or restricted by the reality that the world presents us.

So, for example, in a wolrd that perhaps often looks at the homeless person and says, at best, "poor thing," and at worse, "it's their own fault," the Christian through faith, looks at the homeless person and chooses not to be restricted by the reality the world presents and instead says, "Let me give you shelter."

Which is part of the second reality - faith is not passive. Faith is not something that is simply received and tucked away. Rather, faith is action that is rooted in Christ. Or as St. James says in his letter, "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

Let us pray that our faith helps us to adopt, or to "see" with God's eyes the reality of the world as He intends it, a glorious vision of His Kingdom. And let us put that faith in action to help bring that reality about.

Pax et bonum!

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