Catechesis Notes for the week: There are many today who will in one way or another tell you that what you have (in terms of possessions, happiness, etc) is related to the level or degree of your faith. They essentially claim that if you believe hard enough or pray long enough, God will heal you, give you the job you desire, restore/strengthen your marriage, etc. If things are not the way you want, their message is that you have done something wrong or have not done enough right. Such a way of thinking is dangerous, and has led many down the road to perdition. God gives to all people far more than they, as a result of their sins, deserve. But it is not proportional to anyone’s faith or works except God’s own. Someone who is rich does not have greater faith than someone who is poor. One person who recovers from disease is not a better Christian than one who dies as the result of his disease. When we measure things in terms of what we can see, we are not measuring faith. Sometimes (as in the case of Joseph, Job or Paul), God has allowed bad things to happen so that faith may be strengthened or so that a better end may result. Whether we have much or little, whether we feel blessed or not, all that we have is a gift of God, far more than we deserve. If another has more, it does not indicate a greater faith, that we should envy or covet. When we get rid of our concern for the blessings we do or do not have, then we will truly be blessed with riches beyond measure, for then we will be holding on to the treasure that is found only in Christ’s sacrificial blood.