Sunday, October 3, 2010

Keepin' the Faith

How great were the Mass readings today, huh? Not surprisingly exactly what I needed to hear, as per usual.

It's all about faith. I think we forget that sometimes, as silly as that sounds. And what is faith? Belief in things unseen. Somehow I turn my faith into trying to make God show me things. Um, I'm pretty sure that's the laziest way to go about faith ever. I'm supposed to believe without seeing...right?

The Gospel doesn't mince words today. Sassy Jesus is in full effect. The apostles are once again bugging him, asking Him for things they clearly don't know about, and Jesus silences them by saying, "look...I'm only asking you the bare minimum here. These are things you are supposed to do irregardless of reward or increasing anybody's faith. You should only need the faith of the mustard seed. I have given you all you need."

So pop off, apostles!

Just kidding. He doesn't say that.

He's sassy, but He's still the Savior which requires an unfathomable amount of patience, I'm sure.

But yeah, I think we forget sometimes that faith means believing even without the proof. Just this past week, I mentioned that I was praying a novena to St. Therese, wherein, we ask for a proof that God heard our prayer. God allows these types of requests because he knows our hearts and minds are weak and small. St. Therese herself was always declaring herself the smallest, but had immense trust in God. So if these types of prayers are needed in order for us to exercise our trust in God, I believe God uses them as such.

If you are like me, though, even when I pray these novenas, I still don't totally believe the answer all the time. I think I received my roses on Friday...I'm pretty sure...but I still had to question. Is this, then, proper faith?

As Christ said in today's Gospel, we should only need the faith of a mustard seed. I think I've mentioned before that I'm teaching Old Testament to Freshmen and Sacraments to Juniors. Both of these topics require an immense exercise in our faith to believe their truth and power. Most of the book of Genesis is stories that the ancient Hebrew writers used as literary devices to declare spiritual truths about God. Without faith, it's easy for us to think these are just stories. We try to demand proof of their historical accuracy, and this is to diminish some of their value and purpose. Likewise, our Sacraments may use tangible things like water or bread, but without faith, they are just those things- bread and water.

Getting kids to understand faith is tough! They want proof. Did Noah's flood really happen? How does Baptism wash away sin? What do you mean the Flood is a prefigurement of that Baptism?!WHA!? (and this is where I watch their heads explode. Just kidding. That doesn't happen, either :)

We can't prove these things, and even if we could, that's not the point. We rely on faith. God wants us to exercise our faith in Him.

A good reminder today, those readings were. I too often sound like Habakkuk crying out all crazy like to God. But even then He recognizes our faith and answers us, despite the crazy.

And the reading from St. Paul is just plain beautiful, but we all know I'm partial to Paul :) He essentially tells us what Christ does in the Gospel- we have all we need. We just need to tap into it and stir up the faith within us.

Stir up that faith! Get it! Keep the faith!

Keep up prayers for me and the teens I now work with...Thanks!

Until later... (which is most likely when I finish most of my research paper for grad school unfortunately...sigh.)


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