November 7, 2016 (Monday of Week 32)
Lord increase our faith
Dear friends in Christ, The Catechism tells us that,
“Faith is man’s response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, at the same time bringing man a superabundant light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life”(CCC 26)
In today’s Gospel (Luke 17:5-10), the apostles asked the Lord,
“Increase our faith,” what sort of faith? The background to this was Jesus’ warning, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to him by whom they come!”(cf. Lk 17:1-2)
Jesus says that death by being thrown into the sea is better than to cause others to sin. Jesus also addressed the issues of sin, repentance and forgiveness.
“Take heed! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times and says, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Jesus does not leave forgiveness to choice, it is a duty imposed on us as his followers.
Based on this, the apostles asked the Lord to increase their faith. They need the faith that can stand the crisis that will face the Church, they need the faith with which they can forgive those who are problematic in the community; and the faith to trust in the forgiving love of God. The response of Jesus to their request is that, faith is not to be measured on scales, it is the quality of the faith that counts, if it is as small as the mustard seed, it is enough to move mountains. The disciples do not need to build faith like a tower, faith is itself a gift of God that needs to be cherished; the more of it you have, the humbler you should become for you cannot acquire it by yourself.
Faith is a response to God’s love, a response to the call of God. Small faith often produces big results, as it manifests itself in the small and ordinary events of life. The disciples have been called to labour in the vineyard of the Lord, and when they fulfil their duties faithfully; they have only done what is required of them. This challenges any form of self glorification or praise. Whatever you do in the service of God and the community is a duty given to you by God, your reward and praise rests with Him who enabled you to accomplish it.
Jesus demands that his followers have more than a dogged determination to get things done. He wants to see real and sincere faith in God.
May you continue to grow in faith and may your faith guide you to overcome the challenges of life. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen