“The Year of Faith”
Bishop William Shomali
23 October 2012
Samia Khoury welcomed the guests and began the Open Forum by introducing Bishop William Shomali as the key speaker for the session.
This year, the theme of the Catholic Diocese is “Faith,” thus the evening focused on determining the nature of this central theological virtue. Bishop Shomali first gave three examples from the Gospels of people who showed great faith. He then explored the relationship between faith and reason.
The first example was taken from Luke 18:39-43 where a blind man shouts out to Jesus, unhindered by those who rebuked him and asking fervently to receive his sight. In reference to this passage, Bishop Shomali said that communication with God can happen through faith. He defined Faith as vision, belief, and an act.
The second example came from Luke 19:8 about Zachaeus’s response to meeting Jesus. Seeing how Zachaeus committed to “give half of his possessions to the poor” and pay back anyone he had cheated, four times over, Bishop Shomali discussed how Faith means reconciliation between people.
The third example of Faith came from the story of the Canaanite woman in Mattew 15:21-26, in which, after a striking conversation about who is worthy of healing, Jesus heals her daughter from demon-possession.
Finally Bishop Shomali addressed the relationship between faith and reason. Faith enlightens the mind so that human beings can see deeper and further, and be more able to consider things through God’s perspective which is a tremendous power. Faith can be strengthened through miracles and reading the Bible.
After the presentation there was time for questions, answers, and discussion.