INCREASE OUR FAITH LORD (Hebrews 11:32-40/Psalm 20-24/Mark 5:1-20)

INCREASE OUR FAITH LORD (Hebrews 11:32-40/Psalm 20-24/Mark 5:1-20)

(Homily for Monday February 4, 2019)

The theological virtues- faith, hope and charity are the foundation of Christian moral activity. They animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. Faith as one of the theological virtues is that by which we believe in God and believe all that He has said and revealed to us, and that the Holy Church proposes for our belief because she is truth itself.

By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God. This calls for trust. For this reason, the believer seeks to know and do God's will. "The righteous shall live by faith (Rom 1:17)."Likewise, “the just shall live by trust.” The mark of righteous people is that they believe in God no matter any situation, they trust God's promises and seek to grow in their understanding of these promises that they might trust Him more.

This necessitates a deep and deliberate study of God’s Word. Are you studying Scripture rightly so that you might live by the promises of God more confidently? Studying the scripture with faith and trust will enable you to gain more wisdom of heart and then learn from the men and women of faith who through their trust and faith in God won the crown of victory and set their lives as a reference point for many as we read the outcome of their faith in the Letter to the Hebrews.

Living faith "works through charity. The gift of faith remains in one who has not sinned against it. But "faith apart from works is dead" (James 2:14-17). When faith is deprived of hope and love, it does not fully unite the believer to Christ and does not make him a living member of His Body. Indeed, faith without works is dead because it comes from a heart that has not been regenerated by God. Empty professions of faith have no power to change lives.

The first reading presents us with men who through their faith conquered kingdoms, did what is right and earned the promises. Having faith in God implies working in the way of the Lord as we mentioned earlier that the righteous live by faith. Even though those who are strong in faith may stumble and at times fall it does not mean that God has left them. Like in the case of David, a man after God’s heart who committed evil in the sight of God and man but when David realized himself and repented, God’s spirit took hold of him and he went back to his initial position as a man who not only believed in the word of God but worked hard to put it into practice.

Today David is cited as an example of a man of Faith. Likewise, others like Gideon, Barak, Samson and hosts of prophets who believed and walked in the way of the Lord. These are indeed heroes of faith. They did not just rest their trust in God but their works speak eloquently for them.

This is in line with what St. James is telling us that faith goes with God works and faith without work is dead. Again there must be a necessary connection between faith, hope and charity. As we pointed out yesterday in our reflection that charity (love) is the mother of these three theological virtues. These heroes of faith are being presented today to serve as a source of strength and a reference point in our daily struggle to live out our Christian vocation amidst challenges, sufferings and vicissitudes. As the Psalmist is encouraging us with the following saying “Let your heart take courage all who hope in the Lord.

Let us, therefore, surrender ourselves to Christ no matter any situation that keeps us uncomfortable because nothing is impossible for Him to do. As He cast out the unclean spirit whose name is legion, meaning many evil spirits tormenting one man, I believe strongly that Christ is also ever ready to attain to you no matter how big you think your problems are. Just make yourself available and rest your case in Him.

Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to believe in you at all times and may I never cease to grow in my faith experience. Amen.