19th Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 10-11, 2019
The phrase “seeing is believing” is well known to us. It implies that we will not accept the reality of something unless we can see it for ourselves. However such an attitude contradicts our basic understanding of religious faith. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews states: “Not seeing is believing” and uses Abraham, our father in faith, as a perfect example. Without knowing where he is going, he leaves his homeland trusting in the inspiration of God. He clings tenaciously to the promise of descendants in spite of years of barrenness and the greatest test of faith comes when asked to sacrifice the very child who was to fulfill the promise of descendants. Abraham perfectly exemplifies that faith is conviction of God’s trustworthiness even when its fulfillment is long in coming.
In today’s Gospel, followers of Jesus are told not to look for absolute security in political, economic, and societal structures but to look for it in the truth and way of God’s reign. Like believers of long ago, we too have been called to cling to the hope of a future that may seem too good to be true. We live in a world of unimaginable insecurity: millions have been turned from their homes with nowhere to go, vast populations have been stamped out as a result of genocide, starvation, pandemics and mass murders and shootings.
So how do we live faithfully in this world? First of all to remember all of God’s blessings and to give thanks, to accept God’s hope that we will be the ones to provide shelter for the homeless, food for the poor ones, by speaking God’s truth to those in power, and finally to pray for the strength to be steadfast in trust of God even in unsettled times. Our world desperately needs people who opt to live in faith, not fear and cynicism. Let’s walk by faith.