Through the Eyes of Faith

by Edmond Lo
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Wisdom 18:6 - 9

Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19

Luke 12:32-48

In this age of atheism and materialism, many people see faith as essentially an interior attitude that is subjective, imaginative, and psychological. It is, in a word, objectively unreal and subjectively self-deceiving. People claiming to have faith, so they say, are living in a self-invented world that does not exist. Foolish are the believers because they are dreaming their lives away.

Not so according to this Sunday's readings.

More than a subjective and self-deceiving attitude that lacks objective reality, the Christian faith is grounded on what God has done in human history and what the ancients have attested to, namely, the Passover events (cf. Wisdom 18:6) and the fulfillments of God's promises to Abraham, both immediate and remote, including Jesus' incarnation, suffering, and resurrection, and the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Hebrews 11:8-19).

More than a mere mental conviction or a feeble hope that something will somehow become a reality, faith “is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). In other words, faith actually “gives us even now something of the reality we are waiting for” (Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi, n.7). We are convinced that even now our faith has brought us blessings aplenty; even now we are growing in holiness and becoming more and more like Jesus due to our faith. Faith enables us to see things that are not seen in this world.

Once again, we need St. John Paul II to help us understand the supreme nobility of the act of faith: “Men and women can accomplish no more important act in their lives than the act of faith” because “it is here that freedom reaches the certainty of truth and chooses to live in that truth” (Fides et Ratio, n.13).

“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.
Sell your belongings and give alms,” Jesus challenged his disciples to live in faith in this Sunday's gospel (Luke 12:32-33). Through the eyes of faith we see no fear. Through the eyes of faith we behold with great love each other's profound beauty as the children of God. Through the eyes of faith we set our sights on the “inexhaustible treasure in heaven” (Luke 12:33) during our pilgrimage on earth. Unfortunately, for people whose hearts are fixated only on temporal matters and pleasures, the invisible grandeur that our eyes of faith envision is always just a “dream”.