" Increase our faith."
＊＊＊ 1st Reading ＊＊＊
Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4
Yahweh, how long will I cry for help
While you pay no attention to me? I denounce the oppression and you do not save. Why do you make me see injustice?
Then Yahweh answered me and said, “Write down the vision, inscribe it on tables so it can be easily read, since this is a vision for an appointed time; it will not fail but will be fulfilled in due time. If it delays, wait for it, for it will come and will not be deferred. Look:
I don’t look with favor on the one who gives way; the upright, on the other hand, will live by his faithfulness.”
Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
＊＊ 2nd Reading ＊＊＊
2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
For this reason I invite you to fan into a flame the gift of God you received through the laying on of my hands. For God did not confer on us a spirit of bashfulness, but of strength, love and good judgment.
Do not be ashamed of testifying to our Lord, nor of seeing me in chains. On the contrary, do your share in laboring for the Gospel with the strength of God. Follow the pattern of the sound doctrine which you have heard from me, concerning faith and love in Christ Jesus. Keep this precious deposit with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.
＊＊＊＊ Gospel ＊＊＊＊
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” And the Lord said, “If you have faith even the size of a mustard seed, you may say to this tree: ‘Be uprooted and plant yourself in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
Who among you would say to your servant coming in from the fields after plowing or tending sheep: ‘Come at once and sit down at table’? No, you tell him: ‘Prepare my dinner. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink; you can eat and drink afterwards.’
Do you thank this servant for doing what you commanded? So for you. When you have done all that you have been told to do, you must say: ‘We are no more than servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Fanning Faith into Flame
Read: The Lord tells prophet Habbakkuk to wait patiently for the fulfilment of the vision given. Paul highlights the need to fan into flame the gifts received from the Lord. Jesus assures the disciples that genuine faith does work wonders.
Reflect: There is a story about a woman who, having read the gospel about faith moving trees, decided to test it on a tree that was leaning over her house. She went out to the courtyard with the Bible in her hand, read the passage out aloud, and declared to the tree: “I have faith far bigger than the mustard seed.
So, I ask you to uproot yourself from here and go elsewhere.” Nothing happened. Closing the Bible and with a sigh of resignation, she said to herself: “I knew it wouldn’t work.”
Is this lady very different from us? Faith is a gift that, once received, must be “fanned into flame” as ST. Paul tells us today, by praying incessantly as the apostles did: “Lord, increase our faith.” Genuine faith also involves a capacity to wait patiently and in hope for God’s vision to unfold in His time.
Pray: “Lord, increase our faith!”
Act: Identify a problem that vexes you and write down how you can approach it with faith.