27th Sunday OT. Year C
Lord, increase our faith!
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
Today’s Sunday readings speak to us about Faith. The 1st reading and the Gospel underline the importance and power of faith in God; whereas in the 2nd reading, St. Paul exhorts us to be courageous in giving testimony of our faith in Jesus Christ.
- In the 1st reading (Hab 1:2–3; 2:2–4), the prophet complains to Our Lord of the delay of His response to his pleas for help in a destructive and violent environment he finds himself. Our Lord responded and said:
Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. The rash one has no integrity;
but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.
- Faith in God, in Our Lord Jesus Christ, and all that God has revealed through His Son and His Church, is necessary for salvation.
- But let us keep in mind that Faith is more than just an intellectual acceptance of a body of doctrine or professing a religion, observing some doctrinal, moral and liturgical norms on the one hand, and on the other hand, far greater than a mere acceptance of Jesus as Our Savior. One should not confuse faith with sentiments.
Our Catholic faith, above all, calls for a continuous response to God’s never-ending call, a daily personal self-giving which presupposes an ever growing intimate and loving relationship with the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, through frequent constant dealings to know Him more through prayer, sacraments, interior struggle so as to be able to love Him more and imitate His life. Thus, authentic Christian faith is called to grow and reach its culmination in the identification of the Christian with Christ, through the action of the Holy Spirit and man’s daily correspondence with God’s grace.
- Faith is a way of life, and thus, it should not be relegated to the private sphere of man’s life, nor be reduced to mere ideas or sentiments. Rather, we need to be courageous in living our faith coherently in every moment and circumstance of our daily life. In the 2nd reading (2 Tm 1:6–8, 13–14), St. Paul said:
“God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”
- We must not allow ourselves to be swallowed by a worldly, godless society. We must not be contented to be mere Sunday Catholics. Nor should we be Dr. Jekkyl on the one hand, and Mr. Hyde on the other.
- Rather, our condition as Catholics, as baptized Christians, should be made manifest in all that we do and wherever we are: coherent Christians!
- In order to live our Catholic faith with courage and coherence, we need God’s grace. This is the reason why it is necessary to ask Our Lord frequently for the gift of faith, which only grows when God infuses this divine virtue in our soul. This we see in today’s Gospel when the Apostles pleaded Our Lord: Increase our faith!
- Furthermore, a man who really believes in God, in Jesus and in His Church; who fully trusts in God’s Will and Wisdom and truly abandons himself into God’s Hands, has an unshakeable optimism and firm serenity especially when he finds himself in difficult circumstances, for faith in God makes us omnipotent as well! This is the reason why Our Lord said:
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
- “Omnia possibilia sunt credenti: All things are possible for anyone who believes (Mk 9:23).” These are Christ’s words.
- How many times have we succumbed to discouragement, anxiety and sadness because we have not trusted in God who knows most and best for each one of us! How many times have we recovered peace and serenity when we rectify and put our problems and fate in God’s hands! And how many times have we realized after overcoming the trials in our life that God had not abandoned us and had helped us weather countless difficulties!
Dear brethren in Christ, let us frequently make acts of faith by asking Our Lord: Adauge nobis fidem (increase our faith!)…but not only faith, sed spem et caritatem (hope and love) as well so as to be able to live as firm, faithful and coherent Christians in love with God, with His Son, His Church and with our Catholic Faith.
Holy Mary, Virgin Most Faithful, pray for us!
A Blessed Sunday and week ahead to you and your loved ones!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo, priest of Opus Dei.
ORIGINAL PHOTO SOURCE: pinterest.com