We are now on the 27th week of our liturgical calendar. As it has been the tradition of the Church, October is the Month of mission and a month also dedicated to the Holy Rosary; a unique way of fixing our gaze on the face of the Redeemer in order to be conformed to his joy, sorrow, light and glory. On Monday October 7th, we shall honour the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Lady of the Rosary. Within this context, Pope Francis is asking us to reflect on the “New Missionary Spring” (Extraordinary Missionary month) in our faith communities. He is inviting us to reflect on how we can play our part as members of the Body of Christ through Baptism while acknowledging our sending as missionary disciples to put our faith into action.
The readings this Sunday make evident our need for the gift of faith and the patience of faithfulness, to give us a new world view and horizon. In the first reading the prophet Habakkuk seeing the evil around him and the suffering of the innocent people, he asks God what is the point of praying when God doesn’t appear to hear? Amazingly! The Lord doesn’t offer Habakkuk a direct answer but simply reassures him that the just person lives by faith in God. God is the one who sees the wider picture of life and human struggle. This leads us to the story on the pagan world which hungered for light, saw the growth of the cult of the sun god invoked every day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of the human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality of human existence, yet, the light of faith does so.
Then what do we mean by faith? And what does it do in the life the believer(s)? The Psalm urges us to listen to his voice that comes to our lives in every present moment. This gives us an insight into the covenantal faith where Israel is supposed to hear their faithful God. He who enters into a relationship of love with men and women and he speaks his word to them. Faith here is presented as a form of hearing; it is associated with the sense of hearing. St Paul despite him being a prisoner, he has faith in the Lord and dares to speak without fear. Timothy must hear the words of Paul: “Keep the pattern of the sound words/teaching you have heard from me” (2Tim1:13). On the other hand, Paul reminds Timothy that faith is never possessed definitively but must be constantly and continually aroused. He again reminds him that the power of God is fundamental and is experienced through the Holy Spirit who is the driving force in Timothy’s life.
Faith is also what I believe. An example is Nicene Creed which is a statement of fundamental beliefs defined by a council of the church. Into this statement a Christian gives love of his/her heart. Therefore, faith emerges as a form of knowing proper to love. It is also a dialogue between our human experience and reason: we live into the meaning of life full of unanswered questions and often experiencing the darkness of the soul but trusting into something or someone within our human transcendence. For this reason, faith is a way of seeing. This then takes us back to the invitation of Francis for a “New Missionary Spring” which is a call to have a new way of seeing our Christian missionary vocation. Dying to ourselves and our self-promoting behavior. Like disciples in the Gospel who are keen to learn and to grow we can only ask Jesus to increase our faith.
Christian action This Week: Make acts of faith.
Joy and Peace.