to him as righteousness.”
Because he was “strong in his faith,”
Abraham became the “father of all who believe.”
The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. The
Letter to the Hebrews
proclaims its eulogy of the exemplary faith of
the ancestors who “received divine approval.”
Yet “God had
foreseen something better for us”: the grace of believing in his Son
Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.”
Mary—“Blessed is she who believed”
The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience
of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought
by the angel Gabriel, believing that “with God nothing will be
impossible” and so giving her assent: “Behold I am the handmaid
of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.”
Elizabeth greeted her: “Blessed is she who believed that there
would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.
Throughout her life and until her last ordeal
her son died on the cross, Mary’s faith never wavered. She never
ceased to believe in the fulfillment of God’s word. And so the
Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith.
To believe in God alone
Faith is first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At
the same time, and inseparably, it is a
free assent to the whole truth
that God has revealed.
As personal adherence to God and assent to
his truth, Christian faith differs from our faith in any human
person. It is right and just to entrust oneself wholly to God and to
4:11, 18; 4:20; cf.