Sunday, October 6th – Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Fr. Matt’s Corner: . . For the vision still has its time . . .
Greetings to you, my dear friends in Christ. Fr. Hennessey, one of my favorite seminary professors, used to tell us, “Faith looks like something.” What he meant, of course, was that faith – like love, discipleship, and so many other fundamental aspects of our Christian lives – is not some fuzzy, nebulous feeling. Nor can it be divorced from the concreteness of everything that we say and do.
This brings us to today’s Gospel reading, where Jesus’ disciples (could they be us?) make that beautiful plea of Him, Increase our faith. It takes great faith to get up and come to Mass every weekend; it takes great faith to receive Jesus worthily in the Eucharist; it takes great faith to come back to Jesus in the Sacrament of Confession; it takes great faith to stand before the Altar and say “I do”; it takes great faith to be open to having and raising children; it takes great faith to commit your life to God; and it takes great faith to entrust your dying to God. Life without faith becomes life without hope – and we can see that effect all around us. We can cry out with Habakkuk: How long, O LORD? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not intervene. Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord. And so we join those other disciples in saying, “Increase our faith!”
Jesus, of course, replies, 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. In other words, faith accompanies (and is accompanied by) great deeds. That’s because faith pulls us out of our tiny comfort zone of ‘what I feel’ and ‘what I want’ and ‘what I know’ and ‘what I can see’. Faith opens us up to the great unknown and the Great Unknowable – to the grandeur of God’s greatness! Faith moves us from isolation to communion; from a spirit of cowardice to one of power and love and self-control. Faith commands: do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord … but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. The rash one has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.
Peace to all of you, my friends, this Holy Day, and to all who love the Lord in simplicity of heart,