October 6, 2019 - 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
A guest reflection on this week's readings.
Faith - Both the first reading and the Gospel this week are all about faith.
The first reading feels as though it could have taken place today. The prophet Habakkuk despairs of the violence he sees all around him and cries out to God, "I cry for help but you do not listen!" God tells Habakkuk to be patient, that "the rash one has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith, shall live."
In the Gospel, the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith. What an awesome prayer that is for all of us to pray. His answer? "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."
This Friday, October 4th, he Church will celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. He said of faith that "All the darkness in the world can't extinguish the light from a single candle."
Our Pope, who took his name from St Francis, expanded on this in his first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei'" or "The Light of Faith" when he said "There is an urgent need, then, to see once again that faith is a light, for once the flame of faith dies out, all other lights begin to dim. The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God."
He goes on to say that "We trust the architect who builds our home, the pharmacist who gives us medicine for healing, the lawyer who defends us in court. We also need somebody trustworthy and knowledgeable where God is concerned. Jesus, the Son of God, is the one who makes God known to us."
How perfect then was the request of the apostles as they asked the Lord to "Increase our faith."
That will be my prayer this week, for myself and for all the world.
The Psalm this week instructs us to listen for the answer to that prayer. Psalm 95 "If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."