Rock-solid faith – reflection on daily readings for September 17
Here are today’s readings
1 Corinthians 15:12-20; Psalm 17:1,6-8,15; Luke 8:1-3
St. Paul in his letter to the Corinthians lays out a brilliant and logical argument for the cause of eternal life and Christ rising from the dead. As I read that scripture passage I thought, “No problem here, I know I believe that Christ rose, and I believe in eternal life.”
Then I recalled a visit I had the other day with a dear friend of mine who possesses a lot of spiritual wisdom. We were talking about mutual friends who have lost a grown child to cancer and how their faith had been shaken.
I shared how I felt that God had blessed with me with a rock-solid faith, as I truly believe in eternal life and believe my parents are safe with God. My friend then looked at me intently and shared rather bluntly how her “rock-solid” faith was shaken badly when her husband passed away years ago. She has since regained her foothold but she stated it so strongly; it really caused me to pause and think.
I think the underlying message of her statement was a warning: don’t ever count on your own ability to hold on to your faith. Perhaps she saw me as being a bit naive in stating so blithely that my faith was rock-solid. Perhaps there was a little pride hidden in there: “I know my faith is solid while others may be faltering.”
Job certainly seemed solid in his faith at the beginning of his trials, but as the trials multiplied, he began to falter. Anyone can falter in their faith – after all, we are only human!
I recall a statement made last weekend in the homily at Sunday Mass – we always ask God “why” when trials come up, but do we also ask “why” when things are going smoothly? Actually, I silently answered “yes” because my life has gone so smoothly these last 4 months since my dear mother passed away. Almost too smoothly.
And I find myself wondering: will my faith hold up when a real trial comes along? What if I lost a member of my immediate family, would my faith still be “rock-solid?’
I certainly don’t want to ask for any trials, but I do want to be ready. I pray now as things are going smoothly, that my faith will be just as rock-solid when the rug inevitably is pulled out from under me. It is during our most difficult trials that Christ is closest to us, having endured the ultimate painful trial Himself.
Lord Jesus, be with me always and never let me think that I can believe all on my own. It’s Your Spirit in me that believes.