06/10/2019 - 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's gospel story begins with the disciples asking Jesus to increase their faith. It was a reasonable request given the sort of demands that Jesus had made on them. Just before today's story Jesus had instructed them to forgive without attaching conditions. The disciples instantly realized that these were tough demands. They felt that if only they had more faith, they would be able to follow Jesus' instructions. So they asked Jesus for a greater faith.

But Jesus' answer indicates that more faith is not really the issue. He did not talk about the quantity of their faith but the quality. The disciples had faith but perhaps they did not have real faith that could bring some effect. Yes. Jesus wanted them to have true faith. Even a little bit of genuine faith can help remove obstacles that might be in our way, to accomplish amazing things which seem humanly impossible.

What is the message for us?

Like the disciples and every other generation of followers, we too often grumble about Jesus' teaching. We tend to close our ears when we hear Jesus' instructions, for we know they are hard to take and hard to obey. We commonly ask - How can I love my neighbor as myself? How can I love someone who acts hatefully toward me? How can I offer total forgiveness to others who do not deserve it?

For our faith to be effective, it must come with trust and obedience - an active submission to God and a willingness to do whatever He commands. When and if we surrender ourselves to Him, our Lord Jesus is ever ready to work in and through us for His glory. Let us pray, therefore, to our "Father in heaven who has promised to give us good gifts, including the gift of true faith, and especially to those who ask Him", Matthew (7:11).