After last week’s focus on love, it is appropriate that the theme for this week is faith. Faith, or trust, and love always go together. When we love, we place our trust in our beloved, and as we live in faith, so our capacity for love grows. But there is also a third dimension to this equation, and that is power. Both faith and love have a lot to say about how we understand and use our power. It doesn’t matter whether we have much power or little, if it is not rooted in faith and love, it becomes destructive.

It is all too easy for us to try and use our faith to control our circumstances. It’s easy to slip into thinking that, if we can just muster enough “faith”, we can avoid suffering, trauma and tragedy. When we allow ourselves to be seduced by this kind of thinking, we end up with something that may look like faith but is actually far from it. What we’re actually doing is putting our trust in our own ability to manipulate God or other people or circumstances in our favour. But this is a very dangerous place to put our faith. The quest for control is futile. The world is always beyond our ability to understand or steer.

The legal experts in the Gospel reading for this Sunday lived with this kind of false faith, and Jesus criticised them for it. Real faith is more like the poor widow who gave her all as an offering to God. This week we will explore how to let go of our need to control the world and be open to real faith that leads us to life.

To download this week’s reflections in PDF format, click here.