"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…
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…
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.
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