Minute Meditations

Blind Faith 

woman with eyes covered.

Kingdom people are history makers. They break through the small kingdoms of this world to an alternative and much larger world, God’s full creation. People who are still living in the false self are history stoppers. They use God and religion to protect their own status and the status quo of the world that sustains them. They are often fearful people, the nice proper folks of every age who think like everybody else thinks and who have no power to break through, or as Jesus’s opening words put it, “to change” (Mark 1:15; Matthew 4:17). How can we really think that Mary, if she thought like any good Jewish girl was trained to think, could possibly be ready for this message? She had to let God lead her outside of her box of expectations, her comfort zone, her dutiful religion of follow-the-leader. She was very young and largely uneducated. Perhaps theology itself is not the necessary path but simply integrity and courage. Nothing said at the synagogue would have prepared Mary or Joseph for this situation. They both had to rely on their angels! What proper bishop would trust such a situation? I wouldn’t myself. 

All we know of Joseph is that he was “a just man” (Matthew 1:19), also young and probably uneducated. This is all an affront to our criteria and way of evaluating authenticity. So why do we love and admire people like Mary and Joseph, and then not imitate their faith journeys, their courage, their non-reassurance by the religious system? These were two laypeople who totally trusted their inner experience of God and who followed it to Bethlehem and beyond. There is no mention in the Gospels of the two checking out their inner experiences with the high priests, the synagogue or even their Jewish Scriptures. Mary and Joseph walked in courage and blind faith that their experience was true, with no one to reassure them they were right. Their only safety net was God’s love and mercy, a safety net they must have tried out many times, or else they would never have been able to fall into it so gracefully.

—from the book Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent
by Richard Rohr

Preparing for Christmas by Richard Rohr


2 thoughts on “Blind Faith ”

  1. Catholic tradition holds that Mary was consecrated to the temple, by her parents Anne and Joachim, at the age of three and lived there for years under the instruction of the temple priests. St Joseph, according to Blessed Catherine Anne Emmerich, was also highly educated in the Jewish faith and extremely devout. In fact, Matthew 1:19 is often translated as Joseph “was faithful to the law.”

    So both would have been very knowledgeable about their faith. Their knowledge, and inner courage, together probably gave them what they needed to accept their incredible calling. I think deep knowledge of our Catholic faith is also hugely important. Without it, we’re blind and rudderless.

    Thanks for listening and Merry Christmas!

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