Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Isaiah 7:1-9; Matthew 11:20-24)
Isaiah’s exhortation to Ahaz in the first reading, “…unless your faith is firm, you shall not be firm,” enables us to understand the critical importance of faith to survival as a nation. God wants to assure Judah that its hope ultimately lies in Him. Trusting in armies or in alliances will not suffice. It must do as the Lord commands; it must trust in God above all.
Such a stance seems naïve if not bizarre to many today. After all, no nation makes a covenant with God like Israel did. And all nations know the necessity of military strength to deter rogue counterparts from taking advantage of them. However, nations still rise and fall by their fundamental beliefs which are spiritual in substance. The United States, for example, could not have become the power that it is without beliefs in the sanctity of the individual and the need of discipline for development both as a society and as individuals. These values are not exclusively Judeo-Christian, but the dominant American religious heritage has fostered them from the beginning. To continue as one nation in the future then, Americans must inspire their young to maintain firm belief in both. They certainly do so when they pass on religious faith as the basis of standing in society.