Because I participated in a Jesuit Immersion trip to their Kohima
Province in the remote northeast Indian Tribal States a year ago,
I can immediately make a connection between the theme of faith noted
in the First Reading, the Gospel, and in the designation of today
in memory of St. John Bosco.
From the First Reading we again remember the importance of great
faith shown by Abraham and Sarah. In the Gospel, we find an opposite
reaction from the disciples as Christ asks them – “Do
you not yet have faith?”
Many women friends and I have struggled with the Abraham story.
There can be many perspectives brought to that story.
In 2009 we have the tradition of knowing that in the examples given
in today’s Reading and Gospel, miraculous examples were given
to Abraham, Sarah, and the disciples to affirm their faith. Isaac
was spared, Sarah became pregnant, and the disciples observed the
sea waters be still. Sometimes it seems more difficult for us to
have that great faith – most of us think we do not experience
such miraculous examples from God to confirm our faith. What do
we do? I think the answer varies for each of us. For today, specifically,
I’m reminded of how my faith gets re-affirmed not only by
my individual spirituality, but, by observing the lived faith of
That reminder is so strong today – because one way my faith
gets re-affirmed is my remembering the above Immersion trip and
the Jesuits in Northeast India who have and are living their faith
in the remote lower Himalayas where they are literally being 21st
century missionaries for Christ. When our group was in India, we
also saw the legacy of St. John Bosco – with many Catholic
ministries because of him. And, our small group of eight travelers
remembers well how we benefitted from both the faith, and the hospitality,
of the churches of St. John Bosco.
I write this late evening on 1-8-09 – having participated
in a memorial service for a very dear friend of mine, Jo E. She
died at 92 years of age and I had the great opportunity to be her
good friend for 30 years. She represents one more way that I re-affirm
my faith. Her last gift to her family two and one half days before
she died was a singular kind of intentional loving and letting go
communication. She taught us all one way of making the final transition
that none of us will forget.
So, while I and others in 2009 do not see nor observe the miraculous
events that are connected with Abraham, Sarah, and the calming of
the seas, I see and observe the miracles in my life which teach
me and re-affirm my faith – from Jesuits in the enduring Himalayas
of Northeast India to the life of Jo E. and an enduring 30-year
How do you name the miracles in your life that sustain your faith?