Reflections

THE 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Making Ready (Wisdom 18:6–9)

What if tomorrow were the day? What if tomorrow someone in your family died? What if someone were to offer you a new job? What if an old friend resurfaced? What if you learned you were free of cancer? What if you were to hear this tomorrow? What would you do today?

Our ancestors knew in advance the night of Passover. They knew that their enemies would be destroyed and the just would be saved. On Passover night, they knew that freedom would follow the next day. They knew all along that God would rescue them one day, and now they prepared with courage — for tomorrow.

We do not always know on what day God will shower new blessings upon us. We do not know how God will act. But we have learned through the testimony of our ancestors and through our own experience that God will do just that: God will destroy the enemy and rescue the just.

While we wait, we spend our days reflecting on God’s good deeds. We develop our friendship with God. We train ourselves in the courage that comes from a strong faith. If tomorrow becomes the day of our deliverance, we shall be prepared.

Stepping Out in Faith (Hebrews 11:1–2, 8–19)

Sometimes you go with your gut. You cannot reason why. You feel this is the right decision. You have thought and prayed about it. You have weighed the pros and cons. You cannot see on paper which is the right way. So you go with your gut. You step out in faith.

One of the greatest stories of faith is Abraham’s. While he was living in Ur, contented but childless, God asked him to move. To entice him, God promised Abraham descendants.

On one level, it made no sense. If you can’t have children in Ur, how could you have them in a foreign country? But something about that conversation with God moved Abraham. And Abraham moved.

The Letter to the Hebrews says, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; he went out, not knowing where he was to go.” Ultimately, it worked. God made good on the promise. Abraham received “descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore.”

We often think of faith as something irrational, as what we have when there is no evidence. But Hebrews says something else: “Faith is the evidence of things not seen.” We have faith because God put it there. Faith is evidence of God. It makes sense when nothing else does.

Reflections: Lectionary Bulletin Inserts: Reflections on the First and Second Readings, Year C © 2019 Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications. All rights reserved. Written by Paul Turner. Lectionary for Mass © 2001, CCD.