What is faith? In reflecting on Luke 18:1-8, I found myself truly thinking about this word that we throw around so often. In our society, we may hear the term faith in a variety of contexts: having faith in a person taking on a challenge, having faith that our favorite sport’s team will make it to the finals, having faith that things will get better during difficult times, etc. All of these instances of “faith” involve a sense of certainty. By having faith in someone or something, we give more than support and wishful thinking; rather, we expressour true belief and trust in that person, idea, or thing.
In a religious context, faith is, generally speaking, a strong belief in God. By definition, religious faith persists through doubts and uncertainties, even when God’s presence cannot be seen, felt, or proven. In my opinion, the greatest misunderstanding of faith is that it cannot be questioned. We put pressure on ourselves to remain certain of the beliefs that we have always held, the beliefs that we learned as children. In reality, this pressure prevents us from growing into stronger individuals. As we proceed through life, our faith must continue to develop and grow, even though it may feel uncomfortable at first.
Today’s Gospel discussed faith in regards to ceaseless prayer. To be honest, I found myself feeling frustrated by the parable Jesus told to the disciples. In the parable, the Lord states, “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily.” As I read this, I found myself thinking about the endless injustices currently in our world. I found myself thinking about the prayerful people I have encountered who continue to be faced with struggles that can only be understood as “unfair.” We cannot deny the injustice in our world, and we must continue to question it. However, let’s challenge ourselves to question injustice through faith.
As I write this reflection, I continue to reflect upon the Gospel and the concept of prayer. I do not have all of the answers. Actually, it’s quite possible that I do not have any of the answers. But I take solace in realizing that faith may be just that: acknowledging that there’s something there beyond what I can currently see or understand. In light of these reflections, I will leave you with a common Zen saying which states: “No seed ever sees the flower.” Seeds generally only experience the darkness of being underground, and yet we all know that eventually a flower blooms