The most important quality Jesus encouraged his followers to have was the gift of trust and faith. One needed to really believe that Jesus had the power and authority to heal before a miracle could happen. A few weeks ago on the Seattle University campus we gathered for a lunch to honor the donors and recipients of our student athletic scholarships. Some of the people who attended were members of families who were donating scholarships as well as the student-athletes who were receiving them. One of the donors was a woman whose daughter was a former student at Seattle University, and a member of the women’s tennis team. When she was in London for a semester abroad, she was involved in an accident and passed away. After months of recovering from this tragedy, her mother and family were able to move on with hope.
I was amazed at her mother's courage and optimism as she spoke with us. Rather than giving up, or remaining angry at God, she’s been able to move forward because of her deep faith and trust in God. Because of her faith and generous donation, a woman tennis player who may not otherwise be able to attend college is able to study at Seattle University, and be a member of our tennis team.
I have another friend who recently had a stroke, and now needs to use a wheelchair. Rather than giving up, he’s been able to accept his condition with God's help and continues to be a great source of encouragement to many know him.
They are people who have really taken to heart Jesus’ invitation to have faith and trust in him. Our faith in Jesus begins as a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, or, as a small flame. Through our many life experiences God invites us to allow him to help us keep the flame of our faith burning brightly. At times our faith burns strong, at other times it's just a spark. When we allow God to come close to us, and when we allow God in, when we honestly share with God where we are, and are able to let go of what we need to let go of, God promises to walk with us and help us to carry our burdens and challenges. As we are strengthened by God's grace, let us continue to be a source of God's light, peace and hope for others.
Fr. Dave Anderson, S.J.
Chaplain for Alumni