Today is Friday the 15th of October, the feast of St Teresa of Avila, in the 28th week of Ordinary time.
The community of Taizé sing Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini – Blessed is he who comes in the name of Lord.
Today’s reading is from St Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Romans 4: 1-8
What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. So also David speaks of the blessedness of those to whom God reckons righteousness irrespective of works: ‘Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.’
Quite an example, Abraham… The ‘father of many nations’. A high achiever. A key influencer. One of the original ‘greats’. Surely he could earn God’s favour simply through who he was and what he did?
The statement is a bald one: ‘Abraham believed God’. His ‘works’ didn’t gain him any extra points at all. He simply believed. Likewise David. Brilliant, flawed, human. Deeply believing in the blessing of God’s forgiveness. Could I allow my own name to be included as an example of one who simply believes? Or are there areas where I find belief difficult?
As you listen to the passage again, reflect on the believing response to God of these two men. And of God’s response to them…
As this time of reflection comes to a close, talk with God openly, as one friend to another, about what you actually believe about God. A good friend listens intently, too. Make space, be aware of the crucial part that listening plays in your conversation…
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.