Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Faith: Verb or Noun?

"Love, love is a verb, Love is a doing word" Tear Drop, Massive Attack.

Faith as a verb was something I dipped out of in a sermon recently, when looking at Paul suggesting he had fought the good fight. Too many teachers in our congregation perhaps! However, having read through my daily Ignatian Reflection for today perhaps this is something for me to revisit.

"Faith for Jesus is not a noun, it is not a mustard seed, and it is not yeast.  Faith for Jesus is a verb in today’s Gospel. Faith is a mustard seed that is planted.  Faith is yeast that is mixed.  For us today what this means is that, when our faith is static or sterile, it is in fact not faith at all.  Jesus is challenging us to recognize the active nature of our faith." 

"Jesus reminds us that faith is a gift that is given to us.  But we need to mix and plant this faith in our everyday lives and in the lives of our neighbors and community.  In other words, we could substitute “faith” for “love” in St. Ignatius’ famous quote.  So that, after today’s Gospel, it would read, “Faith ought to show itself more in deeds than in words.”

Adam DeLeon, S.J.

Leaves me wondering whether faith as a noun reduces 'that gift' to something that we are satisfied in giving propositional ascent to, rather than a way of living and being? Faith as a doing word seems so much less brittle!

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