Mass Reading & Meditation for August 11, 2013
Meditation: Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
In a practical way, we live by faith all the time. We have faith that our doctors are competent. That’s why we let them prescribe medicines and operate on us. Every time we board a plane, we are placing our faith in a pilot we don’t even know. Without faith life would be very difficult. We wouldn’t be able to trust anyone.
Similarly, faith on a spiritual level has to do with confidence and trust. Commenting on today’s second reading, St. John Chrysostom said that faith is “a confidence that allows us to make our daily decisions about future hopes based on a certain amount of present evidence.”
In other words, faith allows us to take the evidence that is right before our eyes—evidence of God’s presence, his goodness, and his love—and trust that our Father will not abandon us. Still, in the back of our minds, there’s always a voice telling us that there are no guarantees. “Cover your bases,” it whispers. “Keep your options open. What if God doesn’t come through?”
Don’t listen to it! The faith that the author of Hebrews extols here is not the limited faith we have in doctors and bankers. It’s a radical, all-encompassing faith. It’s a gift from God—the supernatural grace to trust in the unseen just as Abraham, Moses, Ruth, and David did. It’s the spiritual influence that that convinces us that Jesus is who he says he is. It tells us that there will be a new heaven and a new earth and that we will be raised up to be with Jesus forever as long as we stay faithful here and now.
Let the gift of faith move you today. Let it help you place your trust in things that are, for now, only a hope. And try your best to let the evidence that Jesus has already given you become the foundation for your trust in all of his future promises.
“Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!”
Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22; Luke 12:32-48