Grace to you!
Drawing from Genesis 15:6, I reflect on Abraham’s faith example and use it to relate to our faith life.
I noticed sometime that has a significant meaning to me in understanding the life of Abraham, the father of faith. It is the report about him in Genesis 15:6. Scripture notes: “He (Abram) believed the Lord, and he reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
Earlier, from Genesis chapters 12 to 14, God had spoken to Abraham three different times. During those times, God directed him what to do. Abraham didn’t make any request from the Lord who had spoken to him. He simply obeyed and did as God directed.
I was wondering if I were Abraham, and I had the opportunity to be visited by God in that manner, what my response would be? Well, I see God every day in a special way during the Eucharistic celebration. What is my response? I encounter God during my prayerful moments too. During those moments, am I engaged in listening conversation or is it a one-way download of my petitions? Do I pray to get things from God or to become Godly?
It is striking to note that Abraham didn't make any request to the Lord who had spoken to him, though he was in dire need. He simply obeyed God and followed God’s directives. It was in Genesis 15:3 that Abraham made a personal request for the first time, saying that he has no offspring.
This is a fascinating example from a man who had personal needs but chose not to place his personal concerns before the need to obey the Lord. God sees a heart that is obedient amidst personal burdens. Let not our personal needs be an obstacle to listening to the voice of God and doing God’s will. Do God’s will first, and other things will fall in their right place.
Observe, too, that Abraham’s justification was based on his believing in the word of God. Yet he produced fruits by doing what God, in whom he believed, commanded.
The Lord Jesus Christ, warning against the deceit of counterfeits, false prophets, tells us that we can know the true prophets by their fruits: “You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. (Mt 7:16-20)
Faith or true belief or confession must be authenticated by fruitful faith-life. Saint Paul calls it faith working through charity (Gal 5:6).
Often when people assess believers, the litmus test isn't whether they profess their faith. It is that they live their faith. They bear fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Scripture gives us some list of those fruits. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law” (Gal 2:22-23).
To possess these fruits is to live a blessed, fruitful faith-life. The deepening of our faith is fruitfulness because it is those fruits that make our faith a vehicle for divine praise. As the Lord admonishes us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Mt 5:16).
Praying that our faith will mature in charity, shining like brilliant light in the dark. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Week 12: Gn 15:1-12, 17-18; Mt 7:15-20]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.