What is faith? Do we have faith? There are many questions about faith that we should answer. In different ways, today’s gospel reading teaches us the essential nature of faith in our lives, contrary to some who believe that “faith gives us nothing.”

Sometimes, we may think that it is enough to pray or to attend Sunday Mass. But faith is more than that. Faith should be what gives sense to our lives, making everything that we do more interesting, deeper. Faith gives us a vision of a world in which God is present, and… it is the substance of things we hope for and the evidence of things not seen (cf. Hb 11:1).

In the gospel today, the words of Jesus to the woman who was cured are simple: “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.” It is with faith that we, like her, need to approach God in order to obtain from him what we need for ourselves. Nevertheless, we do need to approach the Lord; we need to touch him with faith. That is the only way. We need to touch him with our actions and with our prayers. Yes, also with our prayers, because not all prayers touch God, because not everyone who says a prayer is praying… there is a difference. The person who is really praying puts his or her heart in the words of their prayer. Just as in the Gospel, to be physically close to Jesus does not mean to be united with him. This union requires faith because it is by true faith that we are saved, precisely because we are united with God.

Additionally, faith allows us to do courageous things. The words Jesus spoke to the man in the gospel, after having been informed of the death of his daughter are very simple: “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” Faith gives us courage, makes people to do things that those without faith would fear. Real faith makes us proclaim our faith! “Do not be afraid!” When we go to proclaim Christ, it is He himself who goes before us andguides us. When He sent his disciples on a mission, he promised: “I am with you always” (Mt 28:20). And this is also true for us!  Jesus does not leave us alone, he never leaves you alone! He always accompanies you. (Pope Francis).

Faith make us understand the presence of God among us, and the power of God. In conclusion, in The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis mentions the difference between two kinds of faith: credere in Deum and credere Deum (“to believe in God” and “to believe God). To explain the differences, we can say briefly that “credere in Deum” is a living faith (what Saint Thomas Aquinas would call a “formed faith”). It is faith that works through love, a faith that is not a dead letter for the persons who possess it, but one that urges them ever closer to God. It means to believe in God not just in an abstract intellectual way, but with love, with one’s whole will.

“Credere Deum” refers to the content of faith. It is the “what” we believe. That is very important,too, and we need to know the content of our faith. But it needs to be completed by the”credere in Deum” that moves us to love God and show our faith in the way we live. But faith cannot only be this. Both kinds of faith should be united in action in the lives of all Christians. I encourage you to meditate about the ways we live our faith.

Fr. Sergio