A Firm Faith

18 July 2006: Tuesday of the 15th Week in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 7, 1-9; Matthew 11, 20-24: A Firm Faith

In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah urges Ahaz to be courageous despite the fear of the joint forces of Syria and Ephraim. The people too were afraid. Isaiah tells them to have faith in God. He says, “unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm.”

In the Gospel today, Jesus tells the Jews that they have a privilege. They are able to witness miracles. And to witness miracles are helps to make faith in God firm and solid. Not all people will have such privilege.

In our prayers today, we end with the word, “Amen.” The root of the word, Amen, is the Hebrew verb, “Aman”, meaning, “to be firm.” It was often used to refer to the house of David, which God promised to “stand firm forever.”

Often, our prayers determine what we are at the time of when we pray. If we are discouraged, the content of our prayer is a yearning for hope. If we are lonely, the content of our prayer is a desire for companionship. If we are in the midst of crisis, the content of our prayer is a plea for strength. If we are confused, the content of our prayer is a search for clarity.

Nevertheless, there are two things that come out of our prayer. First, our hearts searches for past experiences that awaken courage, hope, love, clarity, or joy that would enable us to continue to trust and have faith in God. And second, the end of our prayer is both a reminder and commitment. Amen reminds us to stand firm. Amen commits us to continue to have faith as Mary, in midst of anxiety and faith, said yes to God. As ICTUS, who sings to day, has it as their motto, “Nothing without faith.”

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