“LORD, INCREASE OUR FAITH”
????Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4; Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7abc, 7d-9; 2Tim 1:6-8, 13-14; Luke 17:5-10
????“LORD, INCREASE OUR FAITH”
Faith is a major theme that runs through the three readings that we have in our Liturgy of today. In the First Reading, the Prophet Habakkuk was crying out in desperation. Like the prophets before him, the burden of the peoples welfare was on him and he cried out against the injustice that had befallen his society.????
It was as if the Lord had abandoned the city to suffer despite the obvious turning of many from unrighteousness. Instead, it was as if it was the wicked among them who prospers while the just suffers.????
God reassures the prophet that all is well; he has not abandoned them. All that is required of the people is to remain steadfast in faith because the righteous shall live by his faith (Hab 2:4).????
Therefore, all hands must be on deck to keep alive the faith that we received the moment we became Christians. Many things, like persecutions and other life-difficulties can force us into denying or forgetting our faith. Most times, it is the case that we are left with the only option of either denying our faith or continuing to suffer.????
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego faced the same option (cf. Dan 3) but their steadfastness worn them the much desired victory.????????
So, St. Paul encourages Timothy in the second reading of today to always remain steadfast in this faith regardless of what may happen to him. He must not be ashamed of testifying for Christ before others since whoever denies him before the people shall be denied before the Father in heaven (cf. Matt 10:33).????
Equally important, especially as the Gospel of today points out, is the fact that with faith, we can achieve the seemingly impossible tasks. With faith, one can command a mountain to move from its original position.????
That means, with faith, even our state of hopelessness in Nigeria can be revived. With faith, that disease that the doctors have declared incurable can be cured. With faith, even the worst of sinners can be converted. All we need to do is to pray and believe that God would never fail us.????
However, there is something we must have in mind while we live out this faith. The good things that come to us in life should not be seen as merits accumulated from our exhibition of faith. MERIT-CENTRED MORALITY must be fought in our life because everything that comes to us in life is a GIFT OF GOD. Even faith itself is a gift from God (cf. 1Cor 12:9).????
The parable of the unprofitable servant which the evangelist Luke appended to todays gospel must have served the purpose of passing on this teaching to us. Gods love for us is not a consequence of our keeping the commandments otherwise the servant who had worked tirelessly ought to have won, for himself, a place at the table. But it was not so.????????
Hence, we must ask God to work in and with us so that our faith must grow continuously since we need this in order to be saved, remembering that if the Lord does not build the house, in vain do its builders labour and if the Lord does not watch over the city, in vain do the watchmen keep vigil.????
We need God at every stage of our life, yet, we need to believe in him and trust him with all our hearts in righteousness.????
We sincerely and trustingly pray to God to increase our faith. Amen????????
Happy Sunday. It is well with you.????????