Weekly Bulletin w/b 7th August. Trinity 8.

Almighty Lord and everlasting God, we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern both our hearts and bodies in the ways of your laws and the works of your commandments: that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever, we may be preserved in body and soul; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Readings at Mass

1st Reading. Genesis 15:1-6

Faith is sometimes presented as being necessarily divorced from evidence. But today’s readings suggest that it is not an irrational decision to step out in faith but something chosen on the basis of what is already known and experienced. Faith still has a strong element of risk and uncertainty but it is not irrational. Abraham’s venture of faith starts with a conversation with God which led him to leave his own land and follow God’s promise. He embarked on a journey of faith and though he still does not have an heir, which he longs for, he continues to put his faith in God and in the promise he has made to him. So when Abraham stands talking to God under the starry night sky, his faith is a mixture of what has already gone before and what he longs for. And we are told that God reckons this to him as righteousness. This combination of knowing and longing, trust and faith, experience of God and trusting his goodness, is to be the saving of Abraham.

2nd Reading. Hebrews 11: 1-3; 8-16

The Hebrews commentary on the story of Abraham makes faith the air that Christians must breathe to live. Like Abraham, Christians are part of an ongoing story. They come in on a conversation that is already taking place, in which something of the character of the main speaker, God, is already evident. And, like Abraham, they are aware that their story too, will have consequences for those who follow. Hebrews writes that Abraham and the patriarchs do not see the completion of God’s plan, though they see enough to be able to guess and be enthralled by it. And they understand enough to be able to lives their lives in such a way that they can help generations to come to play their part in their turn. They, like Abraham, live with this mixture of knowing God through what he has already done, and longing to see what is still unknown.

So we are beginning to build up a picture of faith. It is based on a knowledge of God, but it is fuelled by a longing to know him better. What we know for sure is that we have not yet got to the end of what he has in store for us. So faith is about longing and yearning for this enthralling God, based on what we have already experienced, not dogged persistence against all the evidence.

Gospel. St Luke 12:32-40

The emphasis in the Gospel is on the readiness for the return of the Lord. Even though the disciples are only a ‘little flock’ in a hostile world, they must not be discouraged, but must look with confidence to the Father who has chosen them for his Kingdom. Faith and faithfulness are fundamental. They are like bridesmaids waiting for the return of the bridegroom. Since they do not know the exact hour of his return they must maintain a constant watchfulness and faithfulness.