Friday, September 30, 2016

Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 2, 2016
Luke 17:5-10

“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 (Luk 15:6).

Reading through today’s Gospel, it seems to have faith is to perform some sort of magical power. If I have faith, I can create rice field on the seabed. If I have faith, I can made a Lamborghini car out of pile of garbage. If I have faith, I can transform my voice like Ed Sheeran. But, faith is not like that. It is not a magical show to entertain us. It is neither an instant answer to our wishes. Yet, it remains true that even the smallest of faith can make the difference.

Jesus spoke of faith as like the size of a mustard seed, that symbolizes our little faith. Yet even, this little faith can make a significant difference in our life, even to do the impossible. True, our lives practically do not change. We are still struggling with financial difficulties. We still need to deal with demanding bosses or terror professors. We are facing horrendous traffic everyday especially in big cities like Manila and Jakarta. We are battling various sickness plaguing our bodies and not knowing how to pay the medical bills. Yes, our lives do not change, yet at the same time, our little faith will make our lives never the same again. How is this possible?

With faith, we are empowered to believe in the unseen God. If we are able to see the unseen God, then we are also able to discover His unseen love and mercy working in our lives. God is not asleep and does not let us struggle alone with myriads of problems and stresses. We remember Peter, the man of little faith, who attempted to walk on the waters, but failed and began to sink. In his little faith, he saw Jesus holding his hand and thus saving him. Like Peter, we are falling into the ocean of difficulties, but we do not drown, because through our little faith, we see Jesus holding our hands.

We learn from many saints. Their faith does not make their lives any better. Many, like St. Francis of Assisi and St. Martin de Porres, remained poor through their lives like. Many still dealt with a lot of problems. Mother Teresa struggled to sustain her charity works and her young Congregation. St. Bernadette Soubirous endured severe pain due to tuberculosis of the bone. Martyrs were cruelly tortured and executed for this faith. But, this little faith have made them more generous, more persevering,  even more joyful in the midst of trials. As St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the Filipino proto-martyr, proclaimed when he was about to be executed, “I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly do accept death for God; had I a thousand lives, all these to Him shall I offer.” Faith does not take away our suffering, but it empowers us to see God. This is enough to change us.

Br. Valentinus Bayuhadi Ruseno, OP

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