“When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
A question that is strange… surprising… shocking even?…
It is not from me, but it is the last line of the gospel text for this Sunday
(29th Sunday of Year C: Luke 18:1-8).
It is somehow… disturbing, and perhaps… it does not fit into our logic.
Last week, the gospel showed us 10 lepers cured by Jesus, one of them coming back to thank him (Lk.18:1-7).
We would expect Jesus to say: “Your gratefulness has saved you.”
But he said: “Your faith has saved you.”
When defending Mary of Magdala to the Pharisees with whom he was having a meal (Lk.7:36-50),
Jesus did not say to the sinful woman: “Your sorrow for your sins has saved you”,
but rather: “Your faith has saved you.”
When a paralytic carried on a stretcher by some friends was brought to him (Lk.5:18-25),
Jesus was not touched by their kindness for the man,
but the text says: “When Jesus saw their faith...”
When two blind men begged Jesus to give them their sight (Mt.9:27-31),
Jesus asked them one question:
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?
The praise he spoke about the Roman centurion must have incensed Jesus’ fellow Jews (Mt.8:10),
but it expressed clearly Jesus’ deep appreciation:
« Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. »
Faith seems to be the one thing that Jesus wants from us.
What he expects before and above everything else.
And I dare think that this kind of faith is
- not simply to recite the creed,
- not only to accept some dogmas,
- not purely to follow the traditions of the Church.
it is altogether more demanding – asking for a total commitment to Jesus himself.
It entails a trust in him, and a reliance on him, that is beyond… all logic, indeed!
Note: Another reflection is available on a different theme in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/29e-dimanche-de-lannee-c-2019/