Corpus Christi Blog

Having and Living by Faith

08-07-2016HomiliesFr. Chad King

Today I want to focus on our 2nd reading from Hebrews 11, the great chapter which describes what faith is. The questions I want you to think about are: What exactly is faith? And am I really living my life by faith?

What does it mean to have faith? What would you say faith is?  Probably most would say, to have faith means to believe in God. Good, that’s true. However, the new atheists would call faith a blind superstition, or an ignorant age-old idea or belief which isn’t true today. They would say it is right and good to only believe in something that can be known scientifically, that can be proven.  And so in response those who do have faith, who do believe in a God would say it is just something they believe in, just something they think is true. But faith is much more than just something one thinks is true or believes in.

Listen and reflect now to the definition of faith which Hebrews 11 gives us. “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen”. It is the realization of what is hoped for- that one can realize that there is something, a good, in the future that one wants to attain. So there is a realization that there is something beyond the here and now, something beyond their control, and that something is a good they hope for in the future. Likewise, “faith is the evidence of things not seen”. So there is something beyond what one can see, like I said beyond the here and now. But yet faith is not just blind belief, or an ignorance that can be proven otherwise, rather faith is about something that with our intellects we can reason the existence, that there is rational evidence for existence. Such that there is evidence, there is ways to prove that there is a Higher Being. Therefore, with this definition of faith which Hebrews 11 gives us: faith is by which we can analyze the evidence and reason there is a Higher Being which is a Good that we can hope for. If you want to analyze the evidence you can look at the proofs of St. Anselm or Thomas Aquinas, read Answering Atheism my Trent Horn, or one of the books by Fr. Robert Spitzer.

However, not only can we reason the evidence of God’s existence, but we can also know God for ourselves. Because God desires to be known, he has revealed Himself throughout time. God has revealed Himself in word and deed. Throughout the scriptures, throughout salvation history, God said he would do something and then he did it. Through speaking the Word, creation came to be. Through all the ancient people and prophets God said he would do something and he did it. Through several covenants, God is faithful to his promises. The sending of His Son, Jesus Christ, is the final covenant, and the ultimate realization of something hoped for, God’s great love and plan for His people came to fulfillment. Over and over and over again God has proven that he is trustworthy, he said he’d do something and he did it!

So what is the best response to such a Good and faithful God? FAITH!!! Our 2nd reading, through Abraham, goes on to show that faith is not just saying we believe in God, but faith includes word and deed, faith is saying something and acting upon that word. So let us open our hearts, and not just say we have faith, but let us learn from the Father of Faith, and live by faith.

Abraham came to know the faithfulness of God as He revealed himself and his promises for Abraham and all his people. To Abraham, God said he would make of him a great nation, as numerous as the sand on the seashore and stars in the sky.

And so Hebrews 11 recalls, By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive an inheritance, he went out not knowing where he was to go. By faith he sojourner in the promised land as in a foreign country. Knowing God was calling him, Abraham went to an unfamiliar place to live. Abraham stepped out of his comfort zones, he stepped out from the place he knew and held on to the One he knew by faith who led him there. So my brothers and sisters, I ask you to reflect on if or how our Lord is calling you out of your comfort zones, to find your comfort in Him alone?

Our 2nd reading continues, by faith Abraham received power to generate, even though he was past the normal age, and his wife Sarah was sterile, for he thought that the one who made the promise was trustworthy. Even though Abraham was 99 years old, and even though Sarah was about 90 years old and sterile, Abraham by faith believed God’s promise that He would make of him numerous children. Although he did not know how, even though he thought it was impossible, by faith Abraham knew God was trustworthy, and knew the Creator of the Universe could do anything, even if it seemed impossible. Is there a situation in your life that you think is impossible, continually entrust it to God and ask what He is calling you to do about it.

Finally, our 2nd reading continues, by faith Abraham, when put to the test, offer up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son. By faith, Abraham had given up everything for God, even willing to offer his own flesh and blood, the child through whom all of Abrahams descendants would come. Even though Abraham didn’t understand why, Abraham obeyed God’s request to sacrifice his only child. What is the Lord calling you to give up, what is He calling you to sacrifice? Are you willing to give up everything for God so that God is first and most important in your life?

So my brothers and sisters, our Heavenly Father wants to give us the Kingdom, to attain we need to respond and live by faith. Our faithful God always keeps his promises by doing what he says he will do. By faith, what will you do this week?