Do You Not Yet Have Faith?

Although I often use the Mass readings of the day for my morning reflection, sometimes I use the scripture passage for the Prayer for the Morning for the day from my Magnificat. (Magnificat is well worth subscribing to if you don’t already.) This morning’s passage is the scene in Mark’s Gospel where the disciples and Jesus are on a boat together. As Jesus is sleeping, a violent storm arises, terrifying the disciples. After they awaken him and he calms the storm, Jesus asks them, “Why are you so terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

Good question. Each week during Sunday Mass, we recite the Creed.  We proclaim that “We believe in God, the Father Almighty… We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ. …” 

But do we act like we really believe in God?  Do we say, I believe in God…but I’m really anxious about the economy….swine flu…or ______. I believe in one Lord, but my mind is really preoccupied with ______.  I believe, but what about _______. I believe, but…

Faith doesn’t mean none of the things we are anxious about are real. And it doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t face suffering – physical, emotional, financial. But it does mean we are not alone. It means that God is there and God has our back and God will take us through whatever we need to face.

In the midst of our anxiety and fear, we sometimes forget that. Something bad happens (or threatens to happen) and we turn inward. We worry about the possibilities and see only our own limits, forgetting the strength and security we have by virtue of God’s constant presence and love. We need to be able to look up from the storm and see that God is there.

Do we not yet have faith? Do we just say we believe in God or do we act like we believe in God? In some sense this is a different version of the question I asked yesterday, about whether Easter – and the reality of a resurrected Christ – makes a difference in how we live and how we see the world.