Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

(I Maccabees 1:10-15.41-43.54-57.62-63; Luke 18:35-43)

The language of faith is often undercut by popular thinking. When a person says that she “believes” something, most people hear a modicum of doubt in her voice. They understand her to mean that she does not know for sure but only thinks that what she says is true. This kind of qualified assertion is hardly what the Church understands by faith. Faith is a way of knowing with more certainty, not less, that what is said is true. The reason for such conviction is that the tenets of faith have been revealed by the Lord.

In the gospel the unnamed blind man, called Bartimaeus in Mark’s version, demonstrates real faith. Not wavering a bit, he acts on his belief that Jesus is the Messiah by making a scene. Because such faith is always rewarded, the man receives the sight which he requests. The gospel adds that he wastes no time to follow Jesus. True faith in Jesus can do no less.

In a way it is understandable why many people possess faith that is tainted by doubt. Some of the concepts that the Church has held as part of faith in the past have been abandoned. One example is the literal accuracy of the account of Adam and Eve. Another is the belief that the world is at the center of the universe with the sun revolving around it. But these have always been secondary beliefs. What is at the Heart of faith, called the “hierarchy of beliefs,” is non-negotiable. We should accept those truths with all our minds and, more importantly, live from them.