St. Bonaventure, doctor
Is 7: 1-9
In the days of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel went up to attack Jerusalem, but could not mount an attack against it. When the house of David heard that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim, the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind.
Then the Lord said to Isaiah, Go out to meet Ahaz, you and your son Shear-jashub, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, and say to him, Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and the son of Remaliah.
Because Aram—with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah—has plotted evil against you, saying,Let us go up against Judah and cut off Jerusalem and conquer it for ourselves and make the son of Tabeel king in it; therefore thus says the Lord God: It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass. For the head of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. (Within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered, no longer a people.) The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
In Isaiah we hear today that “unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm.”
What does “firm faith” look like? I believe it is something we already possess and live out, yet many of us are unaware of it. We all have faith that we will wake up and live another day. We trust so much in this that we take for granted the gift of life and the One who gave it to us. To live our faith firmly is to live each moment with awe and reverence, recognizing that we are alive and in every instance our hearts are pumping blood! Is this not the most amazing of miracles?
Let us ponder the miracle of life today, of blood pumping through our veins. May this lead us to gratitude for the One who created all that is! Then we can truly give thanks in awe and reverence for the one who loves us into being. Firm faith consists in this recognition that all life is gift, and the Creator gives it freely. This firm faith is awareness that leads to gratitude and gratitude that leads to awe and reverence.
—Matthew Lieser, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.
My Jesus, I believe and trust in you. Help my unbelief that I may see your face and hear your voice amidst all the adventures of this coming day. Hold me always in your loving embrace. Amen.