“It was not through the law that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants that he would inherit the world, but through the righteousness that comes from faith. For this reason, it depends on faith, so that it may be a gift…”
In today’s reading, St. Peter drops subtle and not-so-subtle hints encouraging us to live our lives in this way. My favorite of these hints: “For these reasons, it depends on faith…” This phrase ends with a comma, connecting it to a longer idea that may cause the main point to be diluted in the larger message. However, I prefer to add a period to read, “For this reason, it depends on faith.”
Faith, by definition, requires a sincere belief in someone or something, and is something that while so abstract, can become very real when witnessed first-hand.
I am reminded of my time in Malta in the spring of 2016. As a student life assistant at Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center, I had the distinct honor of organizing a study trip to Malta. This immersive experience offered students an opportunity to learn about the mass refugee relocation into Western Europe, an issue that persists today.
Faith to me on that trip came in the form of a closing mass we celebrated at the Jesuit community on our last day there. This was a community that welcomed Nigerian refugees to celebrate the Eucharist with them. To this day, I’ll never forget the moving liturgy organized by this incredible group of people. Spirited songs and readings nearly caused the roof to blow off the small chapel. Every single recitation of the mass parts, parts we often murmur through, were exclaimed with a passion not found anywhere else. When I was discussing this with a local member of the parish, they smiled and explained that this was an occurrence every week—“Yes, their faith is almost tangible.”
Where have you witnessed tangible faith firsthand in your own experiences?
How can you make your faith real and concrete in ways that you serve others, work for justice, or build community?
In this time of coronavirus, many of us are isolated. Identify three small or large ways in which you have tangibly felt God’s presence, making faith tangible, in the last few days.
Pedro Guerrero is a native of Lima, Peru. His family and he immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s in the wake of ongoing internal conflict in his home country. A graduate of Loyola University Chicago, Pedro has worked as a congressional intern, as a graduate assistant at Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center, and as the only green card-holding immigrant in the Missouri legislature, holding the position of legislator assistant for Representative, and now-Senator, Lauren Arthur of Kansas City, Missouri. He now serves as assistant director of alumni relations for Loyola University Chicago.