Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.


Sunday 19th February 2017
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
Leviticus 19: 1-2, 17-18    1 Corinthians 3: 16-23    Matthew 5: 38-48


Would You Believe It?

There are two types of faith. One is easy, one is hard, but both are necessary. It takes the story of “Doubting Thomas” in the gospel to remind us that we can’t get away with only half a faith.

The first type of faith means believing that something is true or false. For instance, I believe that Paris is the capital of France, but it really doesn’t affect my life very much. I believe that Theresa May is Prime Minister of the country but I don’t lose any sleep over it. I may even believe that every word of the Creed or the catechism is true, but it may make no difference to the way I live my life.

The second type of faith means believing in someone or something. I might believe in the power of a certain medicine to relieve my headache, or have faith in the builder who is repairing my roof. This type of faith requires me to trust the person. It means sometimes letting go, abandoning myself to the care or skill of another. So faced with the prospect of an operation I not only believe that Doctor Smith exists, but I have faith in Doctor Smith’s ability to cure me.

When it comes to Christian faith, this second type of believing is more difficult. St Augustine, for example, was taught to “believe that” from his mother St Monica, but it took him about twenty-one years before he could take the step of “believing in” Jesus. Do I only have “that” faith or do I really let God into my life with an “in” faith? Maybe it’s us that Jesus is speaking about when he says to Thomas, “Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe.”




Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2017