closing the year of faith
"If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this sycamore, 'Be uprooted and transplanted into the sea,' and it would obey you." —Luke 17:6
The Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict XVI last year is coming to an end late next month. In today's Gospel reading, the Church brings up the subject of faith. When the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith, He responds that if they had the tiniest amount of faith, they could command a tree to be transplanted into the sea (Lk 17:5-6). Elsewhere in Scripture, Jesus used a similar incredible scenario involving water to build Peter's faith: He told Peter to go down to the lake, cast a line, and in the mouth of the first fish caught would be two coins (Mt 17:27). Peter the fisherman spent his life by the water; Jesus used the familiar to challenge and increase Peter's faith.
As this Year of Faith comes to a close, the Lord may use a very familiar aspect of your life to challenge and increase your faith. With Peter, the Lord used the sea. What will He use for you? Is any area in your life so familiar that you can't comprehend God working there? It might be your spouse, siblings, children, boss, parish, government, school, etc. You know this area so well that you consider change impossible. Most likely, the Lord will challenge your faith by giving you commands in this area, for He wants you to have faith that He can do anything at any time. "Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God" (Catechism, 274).
Prayer: Lord, "increase our faith" (Lk 17:5). Open our eyes to Your omnipotence.
Promise: "The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather One That makes us strong, loving, and wise." —2 Tm 1:7
Praise: Praise Jesus, "the Resurrection and the Life!" (Jn 11:25) "Praised be the Lord, I exclaim" (Ps 18:4). Alleluia!
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 22, 2013
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