Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 4:1-8; Luke 12:1-7)
The five year-old did not have a dime in his pocket, yet he rode the cars at the carnival all day. How did he manage it? His father was the ice cream salesman who recycled the tickets received from the purchase of ice cream to the amusements manager. Privileges often come with relationships and not with merit. St. Paul emphasizes this lesson in his Letter to the Romans.
Paul uses the story of Abraham in today’s reading to illustrate that human salvation comes about by faith, which is a relationship with God. Abraham was a very good man, yet his merits did not win him God’s blessing. Genesis insists that his faith induced God to promise him a nation of descendants. In a similar mode Paul sees the very fallible men and women of his day as capable of salvation by virtue of their belief. That is, by faith in Jesus they will not be lost to pride, power, or pleasure.
Some of us may seem to be always at the top of the game. But even these relatively few are liable to fall on their faces. Our only hope is to cling to Christ in the way of discipleship. He will teach us how to live with love in our hearts which propels us beyond worldly seductions into eternal life.