Week of Christmas 2, Year One
[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 34 (morning) // 33 (evening)
John 6:35-42, 48-51
The phrase “by faith” appears eight times in our second reading, and it describes the bold acts that various characters in the Hebrew Bible took to move forward the story of God’s people. Most of the “by faith” verses refer to Abraham’s acts of hope: He set out for a new and unknown place, he lived in a tent while looking forward to a city, and he and his wife managed to produce offspring even though he was “as good as dead.” Abraham lived his faith through extraordinary hope.
Since many of us are accustomed to lifting up Abraham as an example of faith and hope, it is easy to miss the very different way that Noah modeled faith. According to this passage, Noah lived his faith not through remarkable optimism but by responding to dire predictions: “By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark.”
Welcome to 2017. What actions are we called to do by faith in the year ahead? By faith, will we take hope-filled risks based on visions of a better future? Or, also by faith, will we take seriously some of the dangers foretold for our entire planet? Whatever course of action we discern, living by faith may include both hope and dread.