Faith is a word that is used often in Christianity, other religions and in
the world in general. “Just have faith”. “Put your faith in”. “If only I had
more faith”. Jesus himself talked often about the faith of the believer. In
today’s gospel he said to the haemorrhaging woman, “Your faith has healed
you”. What are we to make of faith? It is an important part of Christianity
yet often it is seen as a something that is difficult to grasp.
For many faith is seen as passive. Just give it to me and everything will be
all right. Give it to me and I will be able to overcome all the troubles in
my life or even fix them. My experience is that faith is not passive. It is
something that is not like an object that can be given away or passed on to
someone else. Instead, faith is like a muscle. It needs to be exercised so
it can be strengthened and grow. It doesn’t matter how little or much you
have, we just have to use it.
The haemorrhaging woman and the synagogue leader in today’s gospel both
exercised their faith. They came to Jesus seeking healing, one for herself,
the other for his dying child. As a consequence their desires were met.
Exercising faith is not easy. When we do we are often amazed at the result.