Wednesday 22 June

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
(Feast in England) Ss John Fisher and Thomas More

‘And he believed the Lord; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness’ (v. 6). Faith is Abraham’s most striking virtue – there are others for sure: courage, humility, obedience, love for God and for his neighbour, but we know him for his faith. The wonderful thing about faith is that it makes us taste in advance the light of the beatific vision, which is the goal of our pilgrimage here on earth. The entire focus of the Christian life is to see God ‘face to face’ and as he truly is. Abraham, in living by faith, tasted the beginning of eternal life. As St Basil the Great once said: ‘When we contemplate the blessings of faith, even as if gazing at a reflection in a mirror, it is as if we already possessed the wonderful things which our faith assures us we shall one day enjoy.’

Our call, just like the call and response of Abraham, is to live and walk by faith, not by sight. While faith does shed its own light upon our lives, nevertheless the daily walk of faith is often undertaken in darkness and can be put to the test. And if we are honest, the world we live in often seems very far from the one promised us by faith. To live by faith, for sure, involves a real and intense battle at times. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice and death seem to contradict the Good News. When caught up in this kind of battle we turn readily to the witnesses of faith, such as Abraham, who ‘In hope... believed against hope’
(Rom. 4:18) and to Mary, our mother in faith who in her pilgrimage ‘walked into the night of faith’ (Pope John Paul II).

We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses to encourage and affirm us in our faith. Just one of these is St John Fisher, who freely and willingly laid down his life for Christ. He cared not for the opinions of others and refused to heed the voices which undermined his faith, but stepped out in faith as a soldier, a warrior and a martyr for Christ. In the words of Katherine Mansfield, he did ‘the hardest thing’: he shed his blood for the Lord.

‘Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.’ (Katherine Mansfield)

Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18  •  Psalm 104(105):1-4, 6-9   
Matthew 7:15-20
(In England only: 2 Macc 6:18, 21, 24-31  •  Ps 30(31)  •  Matt 24:4-13)

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