October 2, 2022
When the apostles ask Jesus “to increase their faith” for what are they asking?
“Faith” is not a product or a better result or a protective charm or a spiritual vitamin or an idea or a system of thought??? Is it something that God does to help us? Or is it something that grows within us as our trust in God grows. Faith is not like a slot machine when all the numbers line up and the bells ring.
Jesus says that it is not the size of our faith that matters, but rather that we remember our place with God – to be happy, humble, and willing servants. Faith, as a powerful living [of] virtues, flourishes as we do what we are obliged to do.
What does it mean to be a profitable servant? Sometimes, we begin to expect certain favors or blessings as a kind of reward for faith.
“How do I cry for help, but you do not listen,” the prophet Habakuk, cried out to God. 600 years before Jesus, the Chaldeans were invading Israel and causing great destruction – mayhem, deaths. “I cry out to you violence, but you do not intervene.”
We experience similar feelings when “bad things happen to us good people.” When life seems impossible because of destructive behavior, accidents of life and broken promises.
Leaving God behind and out of the picture is not the best option, God reminded Habakuk and us. “Write the vision down clearly on the tablets,” God instructs us today. “For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.”
There is a “timing expectation” that we do not understand. How long do we wait? What we consider late, God considers on time.
So, God asks us to revise our patience because, he says, we shall live because of our faith and our hope.
For those who carry the burdens of life and deal with the fallout [that] happens in life, God says “do not harden your hearts, worship and kneel down before the Lord who has made us; we are the people that God shepherds and guides. Harden not your hearts.”
These are the Psalms’ answer to our questions of how to increase our faith. They are the soul and spirit and stretching exercises that answer our wishful prayer to increase our faith.
Perhaps St. Paul was writing to Timothy who was complaining about the difficulties he was experiencing and his unhappiness or whatever lack of faith he was experiencing:
St. Paul wrote:
“God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord… but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.”
Perhaps, more than “an increase of faith,” we need the purpose and power of “follow through” and to remember that Jesus is a person who is always ready to walk alongside of us – that is who and what we need – to increase our faith.