27 Sunday Homily – C
Hab.1:2-3, 2:2-4, 2Tim 1:6-8,13-14. Lk.17.5-10.n
Today’s first reading comes from the Prophet Habakkuk. Habakkuk lived around 650 years B.C. It was a time of violence. The Babylonians had conquered the Assyrians and were attacking the Kingdom of Judah. The Jews themselves were continually assaulting each other. Hatred and violence were seen as part of life.
Habakkuk’s society was not all that much different than ours, where violence and might are glorified and the weak are kept in their place. People of God join Habakkuk and cry out, “How Long, O Lord, I cry out to you but you do not intervene.” Destruction and violence are all before me.
Habakkuk’s prayer is answered by the Lord. He is told to write this down, it is certainly going to happen, and you can record it even before it takes place: “The rash one has no integrity, but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.”
What does that mean? Integrity is the strength of personality that allows someone to be wholesome, sincere, one with himself or herself, one with others, and one with God. The just one, because of his integrity and faith, lives with the Lord.
How do we deal with the violence around us? We have been conditioned by a violent society to respond to violence with violence, even escalating the situation. That is not the way of Christ. For example: St. Maximilian Kolbe responded to violence with sacrificial love. The people in Auschwitz who survived the horrors, and who were present as Fr. Kolbe was dying, told the world of their experience of God in the middle of violence. They spoke about a man of peace, an instrument of peace, who was what he said he was, a man of God. They spoke about his integrity.
What are we called to do? We are called to have faith in God to set our world straight. We are told to have an active faith in God. But we are weak. Our faith is weak. We know that God’s solutions are infinitely better than ours, but we decide to take matters in our own hands.
We all need faith. What is the meaning of Faith: Faith is a firm assent, a compliance with and confidence in all the Devine revelations. It is a belief in God and in him-his son Jesus Christ, whom he sent as the Messiah. It is right and just to entrust oneself to God and to believe absolutely what he says. It would be futile and false to place such faith in a creature (Catechism of Catholic Church no.150).
Belief in God can not be separated from belief in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. God is one but he is in three persons. Faith is a gift of God and we must always pray for an increase of it.
Faith is belief in and dependence on God in Jesus Christ. It is a person centered and it is not idea-centered. It is Jesus centered for us. It is a entrusting ourselves to Jesus. It is a trusting our lives, our jobs, our relationships and everything to him. It is to believing in and identifying with Jesus so much that we should be able to say with St.Paul, “It is no longer I who live, but Jesus Christ lives in me.” (Gal.2:20).
What is the importance and power of Faith: Faith is precious because it is the mother of all the virtues. It begets love, courage, patience, sincerity and other virtues. But faith has got its dangers. Mere faith not accompanied immediately by love could become like a bell making empty noise. Faith becomes fruitless without the support of good works. (Jam.2:21).
Faith without love is a dangerous monster. The terrorists have faith but have no love, and as result they go around the world destroying God’s people and God’s creation.
There is a power in faith. Jesus can strengthen us. When we believe in Jesus, he gives us power to do the impossible. If we have absolute faith in Jesus, we shall be able say, along with St.Paul, “I can do all things through Jesus who strengthens me” (Phil.4:13).
Only with faith we can trust the past to the mercy of God, the present to his love and the future to his providence.
Faith not only makes a person fearless in the face of afflictions in his personal life but also gives him power to work for a better world. “If you had faith, you would have power to command trees to be uprooted and transplanted into the sea.(Lk.17:6). says the Lord. With faith, we may not be able to literally to move trees but we will have power to overcome obstacles, to do great things for the Lord and for the world.
In the middle of a violent world and recognizing our own weakness, we come together today to pray for faith and for the courage to live our faith. Violence is not more powerful than God. We have to put our trust in God.
A living faith is essential in every day life. Faith generates courage and produces a sense of values. So let us join the Apostles and say: Lord, increase our faith”.
This is Sunday is Respect Life Sunday which is sponsored by the American Bishops. It is our faith that we need to support life. In this nation 1.2 million abortions every year. 56 million Abortions since 1973, Everyday in the US 3500 Babies are aborted, Last year 9,076 Babies were aborted in Alabama. Even if we don’t have time to talk about it but we should support life. Let us pray that we may all respect life.
We call out to God today: “Give us, O Lord, the faith to be People of God, People of Sacrificial Love,” and help us join you in the destruction of evil in our lives and in the world. May we be people of integrity, one with ourselves, one with others and one with you, our God.” Amen