Daily Reflection
January 30th, 1999
Cathy Pedersen
Campus Ministry

Hebrews 11:1-2,8-19
Luke 1:69-70,71-72,73-75
Mark 4:35-41

"Faith is the reality of all that is hoped for;  faith is the proof of all that is unseen."  Hebrews 11:1

What do I believe in…trust in?  How can I believe/trust in anything that is unseen?  Why do I believe/trust in anything?…or is it, ‘in anyone’?

This riddle of sorts can lead one into deep contemplation or leave one with a sizeable headache because it feels like a maze of questions with no answer that will suffice.

Today’s readings are full of ‘faith’…as seen through Hebrews’ remembering of the faith-filled responses to God by Sarah and Abraham, celebrated in Luke by Zechariah’s prophecy of a God who has done wondrous things, and Jesus’ questioning of his followers’ faith in Mark’s story.

But, let’s go back to the questions above…
Is (or should) the question be ‘what’ do I believe in - trust in? Why do I believe in anything?  Perhaps I believe that the stars will not all pelt the earth today; or maybe I want to trust that my lottery ticket will be the winner; or, just maybe, I’m willing to believe that I am truly accepted and treasured by another.  What makes any of these  ‘trusts’ believable (at least, to me)?  Probably the strength of my belief, faith, trust lies not in the ‘what’, but the ‘who’ in the equation.

In the case of my lottery ticket, I want to believe that it’s a winner, but won’t be convinced until my numbers are picked. I believe that the stars will stay where they are, for the most part, based on what I’ve learned from scientists though I don’t know any of them personally; however, I do trust those who have imparted this information to me.   I choose to believe my husband who says that he loves me, because I’ve grown to know him over the years and can trust his word, his actions, his being with me, though I cannot know his present thoughts or actions until he shares them with me; yet, I trust, I believe, I have faith in him based on who he is and has been with me.

It seems to me that the authors of today’s readings are expressing the same idea…
Faith is not in a ‘what’; rather, it is based in a relationship with a ‘who: "…One who
had made the promise was worthy of trust…"(Heb.11:11), and thus, Sarah, in her advanced years, was able to conceive because she had a relationship with and trusted in her God who was trustworthy.

In Mark’s gospel story, Jesus challenges the frightened followers who awoke him during the storm on the lake, "Why were you frightened? Have you no faith?"  Because the followers did not yet know Jesus well enough, they did not trust that he would /could call upon God to still the waters.

Where is my faith, trust, and belief today?  Does it lie in a ‘what’ that must be proven to be believed or accepted,?  Or does it reside in a ‘who’…God’s presence in my life with whom I have a relationship and in whom I have grown to trust?

Today, 300 Omaha area women from multi-Christian traditions and racial backgrounds gather at the  ‘Women of Faith in Transition, XIV’ Conference to celebrate the reality of their faith…in the God presence within each of them, within their community and prayer experiences of  the day, and in the wisdom and person of  Sr. Miriam Therese Winter.
Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers today as they celebrate the presence of an ever-faithful God  in our midst.  


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