Chapter Three

MAN’S RESPONSE TO GOD


142 By his Revelation, ‘the invisible God, from the fullness of his love, addresses men as his friends, and moves among them, in order to invite and receive them into his own company.” The 1102 adequate response to this invitation is faith.
143 By faith, man completely submits his intellect and his will to God.2 With his whole being man gives his assent to God the revealer. Sacred Scripture calls this human response to God, the 2087 author of revelation, ‘the obedience of faith’.3

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I BELIEVE

I. The Obedience of Faith 144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to ‘hear or listen to’) in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.


Abraham — ‘father of all who believe’

145 The Letter to the Hebrews, in its great eulogy of the faith of Israel’s ancestors, lays special emphasis on Abraham’s faith: ‘By

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faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place

which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go.’4 By faith, he lived as a stranger and

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pilgrim in the promised land.5 By faith, Sarah was given to con

ceive the son of the promise. And by faith Abraham offered his only son in sacrifice.6 1819 146 Abraham thus fulfils the definition of faith in Hebrews II:~: ‘Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’:7 ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’8 Because he was ‘strong in his faith’, Abraham became the ‘father of all who believe’.9 147 The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. The Letter to the Hebrews proclaims its eulogy of the exemplary faith of the