I do not think that there are any easy answers to the above question. In fact, perhaps there is no single answer that will prove satisfactory to all. I think that because faith is really the expression of the relationship we have with God, then it is going to be different for different people. It is going to be a unique definition for us all. However, there are some aspects that fall under the same sort of categories such as trust, surrender, listening to the Word of God and obeying it and so on. So, faith is something unique for us all, yet similar and thus comparable because of its common elements.

 

The Canaanite woman in today’s Gospel expresses are marvelous faith, marvelous because she is not a Jew and yet she believes so deeply in the power of Jesus to heal her daughter. It is this depth of faith in a Gentile that is so admirable from the point of view of the believer. Jesus is amazed by it too! If there is any expression of faith in the Scriptures after that of Abraham, leaving his country in response to a call from God, David going up against Goliath with little more than a sling shot as his only weapon, it is this Gentile’s faith in the power of Jesus to heal.

 

Let us take time out this week, preferably today while the story is still clear in our minds from the celebration of the Mass, to reflect upon her depth of faith and see if it can inspire us to believe more deeply and trust Jesus more fully. This is the ultimate goal of all faith – to deepen our relationship with God and thus enter more fully into the gift of salvation that he has for us. This woman’s faith is enough to save the life of her daughter – there is little more powerful at work in the world than that!

 

Let us make a decision to put aside our doubts and focus upon the testimonies of men and women of faith that we have known or read and so pray for a deeper faith of our own.

 

Jesus, lead me deeper into relationship with you as I reflect upon and am inspired by the deep faith of others. Help me to remain faithful to all your gifts every day of my life.