Scripture: Lectionary 142. 27th Sunday C cycle. Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4. Psalm 95: 1-2,6-7,8-9. II Timothy 1:6-8.13-14. Luke 17:5-10:
The founder of the Marianists, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade liked the conclusion of today’s first reading so much that he made it a part of his spirituality especially united with his “faith of the heart.” St. Paul likewise appreciated this citation from Habakkuk and used it in his greatest epistle in Romans 1: 17, see also Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. Habakkuk is the eighth scroll of the Minor Prophets written between 626-605 B.C. This maxim of the “just shall live by faith” was seized upon in the Talmud and described as the quintessence of the whole Hebrew Bible. Moreover, in the discoveries made at the Dead Sea community a commentary on the book of Habakkuk was found.
All of the readings emphasize the importance of faith. And on Sunday we come together to celebrate in word and sacrament the mystery of our faith, the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God. This faith is ours through a community of faith called the Church and in each of us through the sacrament of our Baptism into the Paschal Mysteries of Christ. This gift, like the small mustard seed is to grow constantly within us and in the Church so that even the miraculous is possible for those who believe. Faith for Christians is belief that because Christ is risen from the dead, we will do the same.
Chaminade instructed his disciples to meditate on the truths of our faith as seen in the Creed and to ponder it over and over within our hearts. He developed his teaching on “faith of the heart” from what Paul says in Romans 10: 8-13.
Psalm 95 is the Psalm the Church has chosen to start the Liturgy of the day or Matins. It prepares us to listen and read the psalms with attention, devotion, and reverence. It is an invitatory psalm preparing us for the day with strong sentiments about listening with an undivided heart to the word of God. “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”
In II Timothy we are prompted to grow in our faith by keeping the “deposit of faith” which will be food for our journey of faith throughout our lives. We are able to keep the faith because the Holy Spirit dwells within our hearts and opens them to receive the strength we need for living another day in the Presence of God.
Jesus uses the parable of the mustard seed to help us to be servants of the word of faith in our witness and in our own responsibilities. We are to become those righteous (holy, wholesome) persons who live by faith. Father Robert J. Karris, O.F.M. states, “What disciples on the way need more than anything else is a deepening faith in the God of Jesus Christ, who can and will rescue them from opposition and other destructive forces.” Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.