< <  

Monday, December 20, 2004

  > >
Isaiah 7:10-14
Psalm 24
Luke 1:26-38

View Readings
Similar Reflections

believe it or not!

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; hence, the holy Offspring to be born will be called Son of God." —Luke 1:35

"Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see" (Heb 11:1). Faith always deals in the realm of the invisible.

This in itself threatens a "seeing-eye people," but some acts of faith are especially challenging. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that belief in Holy Communion as Jesus' Body and Blood was the greatest act of faith. Also, belief in the virgin birth greatly challenges our faith. No human being except Jesus has ever or will ever be conceived without the union of a male sperm and a female egg. This goes beyond biological data or historical precedent, but we believe in the virgin birth because the Church and the Bible say so. "The virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son" (Is 7:14; Mt 1:23). Joseph "had no relations with her at any time before she bore a Son, Whom he named Jesus" (Mt 1:25).

This may at first seem unreasonable, but it is pre-eminently reasonable to believe a book to be truthful that has stood the test of time, been confirmed by the lived experience of all cultures, and has transformed the world like no other written document. This Christmas, let faith lead the way. Don't let your little mind belittle your faith, but let your faith enlarge your mind. "Nothing is impossible with God" and with those who believe (Lk 1:37).

Prayer:  Father, may I be wise enough not to limit reality by my understanding (Prv 3:5-6).

Promise:  "Mary said: 'I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me as you say.' " —Lk 1:38

Praise:  "O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel controlling at Your will the gate of heaven: come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; and lead Your captive people into freedom."

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Richard Walling, July 7, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004