Daily Reflection
October 16th, 1999
Deb Fortina
Academic Affairs
Romans 4:13, 16-18
Psalms 105:6-9, 42-43
Luke 12:8-12 

Romans 4:13, 16-18  Not justified by obedience to the law. “…Though there seemed no hope, he (Abraham) hoped and believed that he was to become father of many nations in fulfillment of the promise:  Just, so will your descendants be.”

Psalms 105:6-9, 42-43  “…He is Yahweh our God, his judgements touch the whole world…”

Luke 12:8-12  Open and fearless speech  “I tell you, if anyone openly declares themselves for me in the presence of human beings, the Son of man will declare himself for them in the presence of God’s angels…”

Today’s readings are lessons about faith.  See from the reading in Luke above, that Jesus tells us he will speak to Heaven about us if we declare ourselves for Him in the presence of human beings.  This lesson about faith spoken long ago are words applicable to us today.  How strong is our faith and belief in the Triune God?  How often is that faith challenged?   Sometimes we are challenged by others, and sometimes we are challenged silently inside by ourselves.  Paul, writing to the Christians in Rome, spoke about the significance of justification by faith.  Abraham, the father of many nations was led by his faith in God and was deemed upright.  Further Paul writes (Romans 4:13) “For the promise to Abraham and his descendants that he should inherit the world was not through the Law, but through the uprightness of faith.”

Just when I think I understand my God and my faith, a thought will come out of nowhere, and challenge my thinking.  It’s usually a direct question, like why do you believe in the existence of God, or Jesus, or the Holy Spirit?  Then I’ll think, after all I’ve never seen God to justify my belief.  Almost immediately I can dismiss the thoughts with “of course I believe,” but I always wonder from whence the thoughts came.  Although these questions come up in my life today, I don’t remember them earlier in my life.  This is interesting because I feel my faith has grown stronger through the years.   I think it is healthy to be curious about your faith to the point you question why you believe what you believe, so that you don’t take your faith for granted.  Surely, even though my eyes have not seen, I have felt the love of the God of my faith many times.  It is by faith we believe and come to understand all things heavenly.

Jesus speaking to a large crowd tells them not to fear those who can kill the body, but rather fear him who after he has killed, has the power to cast into hell.  In Luke 12:12, “When they take you before synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say, because when the time comes, the Holy Spirit will teach you what you should say.”

In thinking about this passage, I realize that personally not many people challenge my Catholic belief.  I did have a friend, a member of the Episcopal Church, who constantly asked me why I believed certain things in my Catholic faith, mostly about Jesus’ mother, Mary.  I became quite frustrated with his questions, when he wouldn’t accept my response, I believe because I have always believed.  Then another friend pointed out that I should know why I believe.  We don’t have many opportunities to share what we believe, and I should have known the answer to the question of why.

So I think today’s readings should inspire us to study more, and read God’s Word, so as to know our faith.  Jesus was speaking to Christians who were losing their lives for their faith.  Today, in many parts of the world, El Salvador, parts of Africa and Asia, and other areas Christians are losing their life for their beliefs.  Let us pray that God will sustain them in their time of need, and also pray for an increase in faith for all and that we not take it for granted.  What a thrill it would be if Jesus would “declare himself” for us to God’s angels if we would speak to another human being declaring ourselves for Him.  Think about these words from Luke 12:8….…WOW, Jesus speaking about us in heaven!  

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