“Will My Faith Save Me?”
By: Millie Prebel
Many times in scripture when Jesus heals he says, “Your faith has healed you.” Or “Let it be done for you according to your faith.”
As I reflected on scripture I began to wonder what would be done unto me? What kind of healing would be granted to me? What would be done for me at the level of my faith? This faith I offer in return to God for his grace, this faith I share in the world with others, this faith I allow to drive my spirit and display my beliefs, to walk humbly with the Lord. If I could only be healed at that level of faith where would I be in the healing process? Would I be completely restored like the blind men, like the servant and the paralytic in scripture? Would my faith save me? Have I surrounded myself with the strength of others grounded in the pursuit of God? Is my faith deep enough or solid enough or built on sand? Would I have partial healing, remaining in disorder until my faith caught up with my request? Until I shored up my foundation and built my faith on rock? Jesus told his disciples “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the Kingdom of heaven.”
These thoughts then turned to the scripture of the winnowing fan of the Lord. Separating the wheat from the chaff. The image of being thrown to the wind to see if my faith was deep enough, heavy enough to fall to the ground and be gathered back into the fold. Or was it chaff? Light as air and blown away by the wind? I would hope my faith has some substance, some core of a foundational heaviness; led and formed by those in my life that shared this pilgrimage, giving value and virtue to my being, weighed down, anchored by faith.
What is the belief in our faith but a bank of memories? Cell memories passed on from our ancestors of years gone by developed deep within their DNA. Nurtured and enhanced by their own faith and belief. Deepened by their own convictions of experience that lived out the fidelity of their God. Stored into this bank of memories is their experience of God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus in the Eucharist, and all Gods holy people who poured into this “bank account”, building this fortune they possess and protect. This fortune we inherit when our cells form from theirs, created within the God of creations very hands when he formed us. The hands that deposit this initial fortune of love, the foundation of our faith. We become co-workers, co-creators of this fortune; depositing or withdrawing, building or squandering, protecting or rejecting. This account becomes our own, the faith that saves us. This faith allows us to believe what we read in scripture, to know in the depths of our souls that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is real, is alive, right here and right now. Ancestral history within us, this same DNA that bore the Christ, the Christ that dwells in us.
The prayer after communion the other day was from the feast of St. Francis Xavier:
“May your mysteries, O God, kindle in us that fire of charity with which Saint Francis Xavier burned for the salvation of souls, so that, walking ever more worthily in our vocation, we may obtain with him the reward of your promise to those who labor well in your harvest. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Remembering those that journeyed before us, that in hope now rest in the Lord we are reminded of this gift of faith. The deposit of the communion of saints. Lord help me labor well, embracing your mysteries to see a glimpse of your heaven perhaps someday.