Dear sisters and brothers,
Today the church invites us to reflect on one of the most important Christian and theological virtues – Faith. It is the foundation of our Christian life. Faith gives us a new vision and version of life. [ Faith in action]
Some years ago, a young man, who claimed to have faith in the power of Jesus to deliver him from the Lion’s den, just as God delivered Daniel, decided to dare a starving Lion in a zoo in the South Western part of my country. He boasted that as a Man of God, he had the power to speak and command the Lion and it would obey him and shut its mouth. One morning, he picked up his bible after some weeks of “fasting, prayer and meditation on the word of God”, and headed straight to the zoo. Without informing the zoo attendants his intention, he clenched his Holy Bible with his left arm and began to climb into the lion’s cage. As soon as he landed, the fierce and hungry looking Lion charged him, and the Man of God with “enormous faith” raised his Bible up to heaven and started shouting: “I decree and command you in the name of Jesus Christ, be still and shut your mouth now!” He had barely pronounced his decrees when the Lion pounced on him and devoured him.
This is sheer ignorance of what faith in action really means, and I am sure this is not what Jesus means in today’s gospel. What kind of faith did the apostles ask for today? It is not the faith to dare or tempt God. Rather, it is the faith to do good work, to remain steadfast in the face of difficulties, the faith that will enable them to hold on to God irrespective of the challenges in their lives. It is equally, the faith that will help them to reasonably demonstrate the power of Jesus Christ when they are in difficult situations, not the faith to put God to the test with suicide missions. It is the faith that will help them persist in doing good even when everyone around them seems to follow the wrong path. This is the faith they craved for when they pleaded: “Lord Increase our faith!”
We must humble ourselves and acknowledge that we are weak in this important Christian virtue and then plead with Jesus as the apostles did: “Lord, increase our faith”, When he generously does it for us, we must be ready to fan it into a flame for our spiritual upliftment and eternal salvation.
|Nov 4, 2016||27 Sunday in Ordinary Time 02.10.2016||Listen||Download|