Father Nathan Homily | October 06, 2019
Father Nathan | Homily
27th Sunday Ordinary Time
All three readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time speak a lot about “Faith” and how it works in our lives.
“To one who has Faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without Faith, no explanation is possible.”
— St. Thomas Aquinas
It is this Faith that is the nucleus of all of our readings today. They give us three dimensions of Faith. The theological virtue of Faith enables us to believe something to be true and therefore worthy of trust simply because it has been revealed to us by God.
In his instructions to Timothy, Paul, who elsewhere defined Faith as, “the assurance of the things hoped for,” shows Faith operating as a believing, trusting, loving relationship with Christ,
Finally, Christian Faith is that trusting Faith in God in action, expressed by steadfast loyalty, fidelity and total commitment to Him, resulting in our offering ourselves to Him in those we encounter, through our humble, loving service.
The First Reading
Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4
The first reading presents Faith as trusting in God and faithfully living out His Covenant with us. Here, Faith is shown as hope and steadfast expectation in the face of suffering and delay. God assures the prophet that Faith gives us access to Divine power, and, hence, the just will live righteous lives in the midst of encircling evil because of their Faith.
The Responsorial Psalm
Today’s Responsorial Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9
If today you hear his voice harden not your hearts.
God is characterized as a sturdy rock and a caring shepherd, surely worthy of our trusting Faith.
The Second Reading
2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14
Paul presents Faith as our acceptance of Jesus as the fulfillment of the promises of God.
Paul stresses the need for a living Faith in, and loyalty to, Christ’s teachings handed down to us by the Church. Hence, Faith is belief in, and acceptance of, revealed truths based on the authority and veracity of God, and Hope is trust in God
In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches his Apostles that Faith is sharing in God’s power, and, hence, even in small quantities, it allows God to work miracles in our lives and in the lives of others.
It is Faith, meaning reliance on, or confidence in, God, which makes one just, putting him into right relation with God and neighbor.
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
While the Apostles ask for an increase in the quantity of their Faith Jesus reminds them, and so us, that the quality of one’s Faith is more important than the quantity.
A small amount of deep Faith can accomplish great things if that small amount of Faith is placed in a great, mighty, and all-powerful God.
Using a master-servant parable, Jesus also teaches them, and us, that for Faith to be effective, it must be linked with trust, obedience and total commitment — an active submission to God with a willingness to do whatever He commands.
1) We need to thank God, giving Him the credit for our well-being.
Most of us are inclined to forget God’s providence when our earthly affairs are going well. We pray to Him only when trouble strikes.
In His Infinite Goodness, God often answers such prayers.
Stronger Faith enables us to accept the adversities and the trials of life asking God, “Increase our Faith, Lord!” at all times.
2) We need to increase our Faith by becoming dutiful servants of God.
We grow in Faith as we act in Faith.
A sincere Christian can find many ways to help to make Christ known to his neighbor.
A quiet word, a charitable gesture, an unselfish interest in a neighbor’s troubles can do more good than a series of sermons given by some renowned theologian.
3) We need to grow in Faith by using the means Christ has given us in his Church.
We must cultivate our Faith through prayer, Bible study, participation in the Holy Mass (‘the mystery of Faith”) and leading a well-disciplined spiritual life.
The Christian faith enables us to face life or meet death, not because we can see, but with the certainty that we are seen; not that we know all the answers, but that we are known.
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