Reflection & Dialogue:
Today’s readings invite us to enter into dialogue with contemporary society, and some of its religious preoccupations. This we can do under three headings, one for each of today’s three readings.
1. Faithfulness, steadfastness, with perceived delays by God and the Church. We live in an era of rapid change in society, one in which prompt, if not immediate, answers are expected, sometimes in matters of faith and morals. From time immemorial God’s ways and actions have been questioned by believers and non-believers. The Bible tells us that Job had put together his book of evidence concerning some of God’s actions. God did reply to Job but did not give an answer to his questions. Neither did he to the prophet Habakkuk. In our day, as in those of Job and Habakkuk, believers will have to live with their faith in God, whatever their questioning. Faith is a theological virtue, a gift of God. The certainty of faith comes from God. No amount of questions can shake this certainty.
2. The Deposit of Faith. The concept of the “deposit of faith” can be traced back to the first century and the Pastoral Epistles. It is with us still, and is thus formulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, under the heading: “The heritage of faith entrusted to the whole of the Church. The apostles entrusted the ‘Sacred deposit’ of the faith (the depositum fidei), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church” (par. 84); “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God, in which, as in a mirror, the pilgrim Church contemplates God, the source of all her riches.” (par. 97). What elements in the “deposit” are immutable, and which historically conditioned are matters currently under discussion. Given that this belongs to the mystery of faith, a faith approach and divine guidance are indicated.
3. The faith that works wonders. This has been stressed by Jesus, and remains an inspiration and source of consolation, for Church leaders and all the faithful.