Finding Faith

If you watched NFL football in the 70’s you saw Rock’n Rollen with his rainbow wig.  Today, Stewart is serving 3 life sentences for holding hostages and making terroristic threats in 1992.

No one wants their faith to devolve into a byword.

In Tuesday’s readings ,  we have the record of three supernatural predictions and three supernatural acts of faith:

  1. The prophet Nathan promises God’s king David an eternal throne, ” Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
    your throne shall stand firm forever.'” (2 Samuel 7:16)
  2. God guarantees a childless couple a seed that will become a nation, “Abraham believed, hoping against hope,
    that he would become the father of many nations,” (Romans 4:18)
  3. Joseph, in a dream, learns his bride to be will be the mother of the saviour of the world. (cf. Matthew 1:16-24)

The only way to please God is to believe Him. 

Hebrews states: (cf. 11:6): “If a person does not believe God, he cannot please him. Anyone who comes to God must believe that God is real. And he must believe that God will bless those who try to find him. God will reward a person, if he really tries to find God.”

Faith, received from God is a supernatural gift. 

Compare  eight passage on faith in Hebrews 11 with eight bullet points from a Catholic encyclical Lumen Fidei (Light of Faith)

 

HEBREWS 11

  1. By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
  2. By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
  3. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
  4. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the promised land ike a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
  5.  By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
  6. By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
  7. By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.
  8. By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born,because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

Faith opens the way before us and accompanies our steps through time

LUMEN FIDEI

  1. Faith, received from God is a supernatural gift, becomes a light for our way, guiding our journey through time.
  2. Faith opens the way before us and accompanies our steps through time.
  3. Faith is our response to a word which engages us personally, to a “Thou” who calls us by name.
  4. Faith understands that something so apparently ephemeral and fleeting as a word, when spoken by the God who is fidelity, becomes absolutely certain and unshakable, guaranteeing the continuity of our journey through history.
  5. Faith accepts this word as a solid rock upon which we can build, a straight highway on which we can travel.
  6. The man of faith gains strength by putting himself in the hands of the God who is faithful.
  7. The life of faith  so characteristic of Jesus’ own experience, now becomes the core of the Christian experience (cf. Rom 8:15).
  8.  Faith without truth does not save, it does not provide a sure footing. It remains a beautiful story, the projection of our deep yearning for happiness, something capable of satisfying us to the extent that we are willing to deceive ourselves

Obviously Scripture has a different level of inspiration than an encyclical.   However, when I combine Scripture with Tradition it has the possibility of forming true belief and it’s one way God keeps us from becoming a byword.

Author: gbradepp

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