ROM 4:20-25 & LK 12:13-21
Sometimes I think our modern semantics don’t do justice to what we mean when we talk about faith. In today’s first reading, St. Paul uses Abraham’s empowering faith in God’s promise as a template for our own faith in the divinizing power of the risen Christ. This faith is not simply the shorthand for religious identification that “faith” can sometimes be softened as today. What it’s really talking about is trust – the kind of trust, that when rooted with love and hope, is the foundation of every loving, healthy, friendship and relationship. This trust, that Abraham embodies, and that St. Paul commends, is much more challenging then just saying what religious faith we belong to. It’s, as G.K. Chesterton puts it, not about “the church a man goes to but the cosmos he lives in.”
This means Jesus’ parable today, of the man who is so busy storing up what he owns that he forgets to be “rich in what matters to God”, is once again a call toward genuine trust – the trust that leads to life-giving and life-sharing generosity.
How much of our days, of our entire lives, do we spend holding tightly to what we have? Of fearfully protecting what could be lost to others? Standing so firmly in this fearful ground, how can we honestly say we believe in the promise of God?
Our trust is the one thing we can truly give to God and as this parable expresses, trust in God can and should be shown through generosity. You can’t give with a closed fist and you can’t authentically live out a faith in Christ if you are closing your heart and your life to the Christ that is everywhere.
This week let’s try and be intentional about living out this genuine trust, by living in a cosmos where God’s love is stronger than our fear. Let’s be truly generous, and give in ways that are radical, counter-cultural, and perhaps take us out of our comfort zones. Finally, let’s be mindful that cultivating a relationship of true faith is making ourselves extensions of God’s own peace and charity, of basking in the only riches that truly matter to God.