rare, indispensable faith
"Jesus said: 'What an unbelieving and perverse lot you are!' " —Matthew 17:17
Jesus called His disciples "an unbelieving lot" because they failed to drive out a demon. He implied they did not even have the miniscule faith comparable to a mustard seed (Mt 17:20). On another occasion, Jesus wondered if there would be any faith in the whole world when He returned for the second and final time (Lk 18:8).
According to these statements by Jesus, faith seems rare, even an "endangered species." Yet, Jesus expects us to have faith, for "all depends on faith" (Rm 4:16). "Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see" (Heb 11:1). This assurance is a result of a deep, personal relationship. When Jesus wonders if there will be any faith on earth when He returns, He is questioning whether anyone will be in a deep, personal relationship with Him at that time.
We know that at the end of the world there will be a mass apostasy (2 Thes 2:3) and the love of most will become cold (Mt 24:12). We hope, however, that at least a "remnant" (Is 1:9) will still be loving Jesus and believing in Him. Because faith can be so rare and the end of the world so challenging, we must do all we can now to strengthen our personal relationship with Jesus and thereby grow in faith.
Prayer: Father, deepen my faith and improve my spiritual hearing as I read, pray, and live Your word (Rm 10:17).
Promise: "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength." —Dt 6:5
Praise: St. Dominic believed so much that he resisted violence and would only employ prayer and teaching to fight his enemies. He spread the faith among heretics in an abundant way.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape The Remnant on audio AV 79-3 or video V-79.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009
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