27th Sunday in Ordinary time
Habakkuk 1: 2-3; 2: 2-4
2 Timothy 1: 6-8, 13-14
Luke 17: 5-10
The greatest gifts we can ever have as creatures from our Creator is the gift of FAITH. In today’s gospel we see the apostles telling the Lord, “Increase our faith”. Perhaps they might have been anxious and worried about their lack of faith. But Jesus illustrates to them about the quality of faith. A simple and humble faith can work wonders. However, to keep our faith simple and humble is the most challenging task. Though faith is a gift it needs to be taken care of and nourished in a healthy way. And so it is not surprising when Jesus says one must become like a child to enter the Kingdom of God. God’s infinite mystery is revealed to the simple and the humble.
Talking about the power of faith, William Barclay says that faith is the greatest force of life. Faith is also an attitude of trust in the presence of God. Just imagine all that we engage in on a day-to-day basis. There is an enormous force of faith behind every initiative. I admire the heroic lives of the saints in the church like Mother Teresa, Maria Goretti, Francis of Assisi, Maximilian Kolbe and many unknown holy people who have and who are living extraordinary lives of faith in a hidden way. All of them exhibit a great sense of faith by putting absolute trust in God’s providence and goodness.
As followers of Jesus Christ we have received the gift of faith in our baptism. The Church helps us in many ways to nourish our faith. Word of God, Sacraments and the teachings of the church help us to channelize this great gift for everyone to experience God in a profound way.
God’s will for us is that we are all drawn and united into God’s divine nature. We all have this divine nature concealed in us. The gift of faith, which is a spiritual gift, must be fanned into flame as St. Paul says in today’s second reading in order to bring us to that awareness of the divine nature in us.
And so as the greatest force of life may we allow the FAITH to shape and mould us into the likeness of Christ, who is the image of the invisible God.
Fr. Justin Durai Raj CP is a member of the Passionist community at St. Joseph’s, Hobart.