Day 38: A Tangible Faith

BY KELLY SWAN | April 8, 2022
Today’s Readings

Today’s Gospel is all about faith—a tricky thing, when taken at face value. 

Faith requires that we believe in something that is so intangible and that, in the face of the gritty, often heartbreaking reality of our world, can feel very distant.

That’s where Jesus meets those who threaten to stone him in today’s gospel. They confront Jesus with fear because the faith required of them is nearly unfathomable. But here, Jesus offers the antidote to the limits of faith on its own—good works. 

Throughout these pandemic years, I’ve struggled with faith. There have been times when it feels like everything is crumbling around me—from the deeply personal and local to the broad and global. It is exceedingly difficult at times to feel faith when what is playing out in the world is so deeply broken and isolating. 

A Tangible Faith

However, last month I traveled to North Carolina with a group of John Carroll University students as part of an immersion through ISN’s Catholic Ethical Purchasing Alliance and was reminded of that antidote Jesus offers today—good works. 

I stood in awe as I remembered that my faith happens in tandem with good works—in this instance, seeing the very tangible manifestation of the “circular economy,” an economic model that honors people and planet equally with profit. I witnessed a textile production facility that schedules shifts to accommodate childcare schedules. A warehouse full of discarded socks and the equipment that saves them from the landfill to create new, sustainable products. The very personal impact that an employee-owned factory can have on individual lives. The joy of stumbling through cross-language dinner conversation with those employees, most from Guatemala. 

Interstate travel is not required to witness the good work that makes faith tangible. Regardless of where we are on any given day, may we be open, inviting a sense of awe, present to the good works in the world that can bring our hearts back to God.

For Reflection:

  • How can you cultivate a sense of awe in your day to day life?
  • In what ways do you most need to practice the art of keeping your heart open to be more present to “good work that makes faith tangible?”
  • Today, commit to noticing one tangible sign of “good works” in your day, big or small.

5 replies
  1. Eileen Quinn Knight Knight
    Eileen Quinn Knight Knight says:

    Cultivating a sense of awe takes work! It is work that inspires and directs us. Over this past weekend I was filled with awe from the prayer and work of the Alpha group I belong to. They come to the session early to make sure all the parts of a good meal are evident with a cloth on the table, flowers on each table too, a sense of scurrying about as something important will happen. The rest of the group arrives and are greeted with radical hospitality! I was filled with the joy of Christmas morning. After the group shares food in a sense of Eucharist, we share the thoughts about our faith. People come from work and all sorts of different places yet when it is time to share thoughts, it feels like nothing else is on their mind except their faith. Their faith experienced in giving someone a place in line, offering a coffee at work, realizing that a person needs to see joy on my face. The Alpha group listens to the concerns and faith of others and shares theirs. My faith is revitalized by this wonderful groups sharing of their faith and giving the hope that all will be fine as He is with us as well as the group offering us comfort and solace and the challenge of living another day with faith..

    Reply
  2. Karen Moscato
    Karen Moscato says:

    Todays Gospel and reflection is challenging for me. I live in a state where the representatives are so countercultural to the Gospel. My own representative is a known supporter of white supremacy. How do I find awe in the news of the state legislature trying to silence my vote? How do I find solace in the way Judge Jackson was questioned?
    Yet if I dig deep I have hope. I have hope that my little contribution to this world is a light in the darkness.
    Faith in the future as I believe in the Holy Spirit raising up prophets in our time. Maybe if I remain open and continue on my path as God directs I will be one of those lights of faith for all to see.

    Reply
    • Angie R
      Angie R says:

      Karen, Your closing statement echoed my prayer this morning. Thank you for keeping your lamp burning.

      Kelly, thank you for the article and the invitation to stay open to the good works around us. Your good work, in words, was my find for today. Thank you.

      Reply
  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    I have only to look at the vege garden cultivated by someone else to see that God is good and provides us with food to eat in difficult times. Would that more people be inspired to grow their own veges, even if they don’t have a garden.

    Reply
  4. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Thanks Kelly. The Giver of Life has blessed creation with faith in abundance. Despite challenges like natural disasters and man-made calamities, people across the Planet wake up each morning to thank and praise their Creator and Sustainer.

    Reply

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