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Sunday, October 2, 2016

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27th Sunday Ordinary Time

Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9
Luke 17:5-10

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faith, not pessimism

"Increase our faith." —Luke 17:5

When Habakkuk prayed, he cried out, "Violence!" (Hab 1:2) He described his situation as "ruin," "misery," "destruction," "strife," and "clamorous discord" (Hab 1:3). He begged God to intervene (Hab 1:2), but God didn't seem to do anything.

We live in times which fit Habakkuk's description. We live in the most violent and murderous of times for several reasons. One major reason is the mass murders occurring through abortions. We tend to feel depressed and hopeless. However, the Lord calls this a "rash" response to the violence and evil in our society (see Hab 2:4). Rather, our response should be one of faith (Hab 2:4). If we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can uproot the violence and death entrenched in our society (Lk 17:6).

Pope St. John Paul II taught: "If we look at today's world, we are struck by many negative factors that can lead to pessimism. But this feeling is unjustified: we have faith in God our Father and Lord, in His goodness and mercy" (Mission of the Redeemer, 86). Therefore, despite violence and sin, don't be pessimistic, but have even greater faith. Walk by faith, not sight (2 Cor 5:7).

Prayer:  Father, may my faith become stronger, especially when conditions become worse.

Promise:  "I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you. The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly spirit, but rather One that makes us strong, loving, and wise." —2 Tm 1:6-7

Praise:  Alleluia! "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Cor 15:54-55) Jesus is risen! Alleluia!

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Hold Fast to the Faith, order, listen to or download our CD 71-1 or DVD 71 on our website or order our tape on audio AV 71-1 or video V 71.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 31, 2016

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