The Light of Faith

A reflection on this Sunday’s Gospel

On Sunday, we hear Jesus say these words to Bartimaeus, “Your faith has saved you.” (Mk 10:46-52) These words appear several times in the Gospels. What do they mean? Isn’t it Jesus who saves us?

Without Jesus, there is no salvation. But if we think of salvation as a gift, we might see more clearly. Even the best gift is never any good to us unless we unwrap it and use it.

Faith is like unwrapping the gift of salvation. It’s our response to the invitation. We say, “Yes, I believe that you are Lord and Savior.” But we can’t just say it with our lips. We have to say it with our lives. St. James says, “Faith without works is dead.” Only a living faith saves you.

In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, all ten had lamps: the sign of faith. But only five had oil: the sign of healing, warmth, nourishment, love. The oil kept their lamps lit. When Jesus came looking for his friends, he could only “see and know” the ones whose lamps were lit. Their faith saved them.