The Feel For The Faith
Thoughts on the First Readings -Joe Frankenfield
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wisdom 6: 12-16
“He said that I’ve got no feel for the game and I’ll never be any good,” a friend in deep seventh-grade despair told me many years ago. His Little League coach was right. My friend had signed up for a team because he thought girls would like it. He was interested in a lot of things but baseball wasn’t one of them. He had made it a point to learn a lot about the game and was as coordinated as the average thirteen year old; he simply wouldn’t invest himself in baseball enough to get a feel for it. His efforts were doomed.
There’s a feel for Christianity that lies at the heart of successfully living it. It’s not theological knowledge, liturgical sophistication or attention to ecclesiastical concerns, though it might include these. It’s not an emotional response to a one’s image of Jesus, though again, this can be an element of it. This feel for Christianity is a deep sense of what God is doing in our world. Since we’re Christian, that sense is exemplified in Jesus’ actions and attitudes towards life. We resonate with Jesus’ promised future and his encouragement to live it now. His life and promise guides our evaluation and response to life, consciously and unconsciously. That’s the Wisdom scripture so often speaks of. It’s living in God’s Spirit.
That brings me back to my friend and his casual interest in baseball. There wasn’t anything wrong with signing up for Little League to attract girls. Since he never deepened his commitment, though, he saw nothing but bench time in games with less than a five run lead. A feeling for the game doesn’t grow with casual commitment. That’s also true in pursuing the Way of Jesus.
The beginning of Wisdom is honestly asking: Why am I in this faith?