Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.
By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain’s. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and “he was not found, because God had taken him.” For it was attested before he was taken away that “he had pleased God.” And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s reading, we are reminded that we do not have faith because of something that we have seen. In today’s Mass, this reading is paired with Mark’s account of the Transfiguration when Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain where he appeared with Moses and Elijah. The disciples had an experience of Jesus that they perceived through their senses. Most of us don’t have that sort of experience. Our faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” just like the faith of Abel, Enoch, and Noah.
But faith is not the same as random, blind belief. We have encounters with the Living God every day, although sometimes it takes a bit to recognize them. The Examen is a prayer tool that can help us see the movements of God in our lives. When we identify God’s invitations in our lives, we are able to set out in faith in that direction.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Step 1: God, I believe at this quiet moment that I am in Your presence and You are now loving me. Come Holy Spirit.
Step 2: God, I acknowledge your love for me in the various gifts for which I am very grateful. Thanks be to God.
Step 3: God, help me now to review the events of this day in order to recognize you in all parts of my life. Lord, I want to see.
Step 4: God, please forgive the times I have fallen short, and strengthen my attempts to follow you. Lord have mercy.
Step 5: God, enlighten me so that my future choices praise, reverence, and serve You above all else. Show me Your way.
Conclude with an Our Father
—A Daily Examen, click here for a downloadable prayer card