Summary: Faith is not our work, it is God’s work in us. How do we nurture faith?

Monday of 18th Week in Course

August 4, 2008

When we put these two readings from the Old and New Testaments together, as the Church clearly intends us to do today, we should be reminded of a third one–Jesus’s statement in John’s Gospel: Jesus says to his apostles, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” And later, he tells Pilate that everyone who belongs to the Truth will listen to him.

The Truth is that God became human so that humans could become divine. The Truth is that God, who needs nothing, wants us. The Truth is that we–all of us–have discounted that divine presence and desire, perhaps thinking it’s too good to be true. And so, like Peter, the Rock, we turn to God when He invites us to act in goodness, truth and beauty. We listen to Him invite us to walk upon the waters as Jesus does. We step out in faith and then feel the wind and the water and, like Peter, we lose our trust in Christ, sin, curl up into a fetal position and sink like a rock.

Yet Jesus stretches out His hand to save us. I can’t count the number of times Christ has kept me from a decision that looked good at the time, but would have led to a disaster for my family. And I think all of us would run out of fingers and toes before we could enumerate the number of times Jesus has forgiven us of our sins–maybe even per diem.

The plain truth is that we are people of little faith. Remember that faith is not our action, it is the action of the Trinity dwelling in us. It is a theological virtue–a gift from God. How do we let that gift grow? By praying for more faith and by daily exercising that spiritual muscle. It is particularly important to do so when we don’t know to whom to turn, when we don’t know what to do, and when we don’t have the resources to do some good. I’ve finally gotten to the point where my school managers know what I’m going to say when we have some insoluble problem. The words are “God will provide.” The challenge then is to believe those words, and to praise God even before He has manifested his power to achieve them.

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