A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Having a Little Faith

Posted on: January 29, 2015

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

~ Hebrews 11:1*

If we call ourselves people of faith, others may make certain assumptions about us.

For example, they may assume that we observe Christmas and Easter, attend church on a regular basis, and say grace at meals. And they also may assume we never question that God hears us, answers our prayers, and has good plans for us.

Yet, being human, we can’t always understand God’s ways and plans. We need to turn to God in prayer and return to the scriptures, which will show us that we’re not alone in wondering about God’s plans:

  • In Genesis 18:9-15, we read about God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah that, despite their age, they would soon have a son. But Sarah laughed in disbelief.
  • In Matthew 14:25-33, we read about Jesus’ walking on the water to the disciples’ boat. Jesus told Peter to come to him on the water, but when Peter saw the wind, he became afraid and asked Jesus to save him from drowning.
  • In Luke 1:18-23, we read that Zechariah didn’t believe the angel Gabriel’s message that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a child in their old age.

We also find reassurance that not only does God love us, but he also hears and answers our prayers, in his time and according to his plans. We see Jesus brought healing and life to those with strong faith:

  • In Matthew 8:5-13, we read about a centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant with just a word, as he was not worthy to have Jesus come to his home. Jesus healed the servant, saying, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
  • In Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26, we read about a ruler who believed that Jesus could restore his daughter to life with a touch, and Jesus did so.
  • In Matthew 9:20-22, we read about a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years but believed that she would be healed simply by touching the fringe of Jesus’ clothes, and Jesus healed her, saying, “(Y)our faith has made you well.”
  • In Matthew 9:27-31, we read about two blind men who told Jesus they believed he could heal them, and he restored their sight, saying, “According to your faith let it be done to you.”
  • In Matthew 15:21-28, we read about a Canaanite woman who had such strong faith that Jesus could deliver her daughter from demonic possession that he healed her child, saying, “O woman, great is your faith!”

And in Hebrews 11, we read about more faith-filled people.

As the Catechism tells us, faith “is an entirely free gift that God makes to man” (s. 162) and gives us a foretaste of heaven (s. 163), and a greater knowledge of God and his works will increase our faith (s. 158).

If we struggle to trust in the plans God has for us, I pray that we would remember we aren’t alone in this, that we would be encouraged by the example of the faithful people who have gone before us, and that we would pray to God to increase our faith day by day.

(*Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)


Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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