Tueday, July 12, 2016

Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

(Isaiah 7:1-9; Matthew 11:20-24)

Is faith possible today?  There will always be exceptions, but having faith is increasingly hard.  Faith is, first and foremost, a relationship of trust with God.  For a Christian it is the gift of self to Christ.  Throughout the world the movement is in the other direction.  People find the building up of self as the purpose of life.  As much as any contemporary phenomenon, the ubiquity of the selfie demonstrates this reality.  In today’s first reading Isaiah tells the King of Judah not only that faith has meaning but that it is the only way he and his nation can survive.

King Ahaz is in a desperate situation.  Two rival kingdoms have conspired against him.  He wants to seek help by allying Judah with more powerful nations.  But he is told by Isaiah not to.  Isaiah warns him that only by clinging to the Lord in faith will he survive.  Thus Ahaz learns the meaning of faith – standing fast in the Lord.  As a matter of fact, the situation turns out well.  Ahaz’s enemies are throttled; Judah survives with faith.

We may find difficulty going against the grain.  Like everyone else (or so it seems) we would like to pursue wealth and pleasure.  Perhaps more than that, we would like to brag about ourselves.  But we have faith in Christ’s word.  He saves us if we band with him – giving of ourselves to bring his love to the world.