Fr. Carmichael has spoken to us in his homilies this Lent and asked each of us to dust off our bibles and read the first 5 books of the Old Testament. Reading these books of Scripture, assists us in developing a deeper trust in God. These books highlight a living faith and trust, which is focused on a relationship with God, as his children, and an obedience to God, by total surrender and acceptance of his unfailing care. Living faith works through love, and is corporate, in that it accepts something or someone as true and trustworthy. A personal commitment to trust God and His promises are expressed by our thoughts and desires in prayer, and in our actions, as works of charity.
The Old Testament highlights heroes with living faith, as in the supreme confidence shown by Noah; in Abraham’s obedient faith; and in Moses’ faith in God’s Word. Noah’s example shows us how to respond to Gods loving direction with obedient reverence as he turned his back on the world, confident in something or someone who was unseen. Abraham demonstrates obedient faith and perseverance; a faith that must withstand being called by God to move toward the Promise Land and offer, as a sacrifice, his only son, Isaac. Moses’ parents listened in obedience to God’s divine instruction, as Moses then followed, by choosing to identify himself with the lowly, and not his exalted status. Moses, like the others, faithfully looked to their reward of eternal life with God; God’s promise to His people.
These heroes help us to understand that when we approach God, we must believe that he exists, listen for His divine instruction, and look forward to the reward He has in store for those who seek and obey Him.
For God rewarded Noah with righteousness, Abraham with the miracle of children and descendants ‘as numerous as the stars in the sky,’ and Moses with the vision of the Promised Land. This gives us confidence to live out our faith, no matter what may befall us. Why, you may ask? Because, we understand that each day is a gift to trust in God’s love for us so, that we too, will have the reward of eternal life with Him in Heaven.