Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Go in peace, your faith has saved others.

Can your faith save others?  Faith is a gift from God.  It is one that most of us must continually work on and nurture.  However, that faith, that gift from God is often given to us from Him through someone else.

Remember when you were a child and your mother or father would give you money or materials to buy or make a gift for someone?  When we were too young to have any means of our own to give a gift, resources for that gift were given to us.  It's the same with faith.  When we are too weak to have our own faith, either because of age, ability, or sin, it is give to us, from God through others.

We see instances of this generosity of God throughout scripture.  Daniel's faith influenced King Darius after the lion's den.  The centurion's faith provided for his servant's healing.  The faith of the folks who lowered their friend through the roof to Jesus gave faith to not only their friend, but those who witnessed the miracle as well.  The faith of Peter converted 3,000 on Pentecost.

Our faith can often be the way in which God is giving faith to another.

In today's first reading we see the epic face-off between Elijah and the 400 prophets of Baal.  Elijah's simple faith in the living God provides the conduit of faith for hundreds, maybe even thousands, of other people and perhaps generations after.  We are still reading about it after all!

In the Gospel, Jesus tells us that the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven will be those who obey and teach the commandments.  Does this meant that we all need to obey the commandments AND be a teacher, catechist, priest, nun, or professor?  Of course not.  We must simply live lives of obedience and faith.

One of the most influential people in my life is a man that I probably spoke to less than an hour combined.  Through this man I was able to see joy, life, warmth, and faith.  God used this man to direct my vocation to marriage.  I wasn't a life-long disciple of his.  I didn't read any of his books, he never wrote any.  I didn't attend his seminars.  I met him a few times and God worked through him to change my life for the good, forever.  Not only did he change my life forever but the life of my children, potential grandchildren, and generations to come. This man was my wife's grandfather.  He was a loving husband and father of twelve. His humble, faith-filled witness, has influenced my faith and generations to come.

To change the world, to bring others to Christ, we need not be Daniel or Elijah. We need not be Peter or Blessed Mother Theresa.  We simply need to be obedient and teach the commandments by the witness of our life, our joy, and our faith.  After all, you may be the very instrument that God needs to save souls for generations to come.

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