May the God of all grace preserve you in peace and health!
We are reminded that faith is one the most powerful forces in the universe. It is striking to hear the Apostles request of the Lord that he increase their faith. It seems odd because we usually assume that their faith would be much more confident and solid since they were experiencing daily life with Jesus and were witnesses to the wonders he did in their presence every day. Jesus’ response is also striking: “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, . . .” The allegory that Jesus uses of the mulberry tree is supposed to help us understand the power of faith. Evidently, the Apostles were not yet putting what faith they had into action. Faith is first given as a gift from God (one of the theological virtues), but then it must be used and put to the test in order for it to grow and become a virtue—a personal strength of good habit. The second part of the Gospel tells us that once we grow in practicing our faith and do God’s will, we are not to expect recognition or even a special place in heaven. We must regard ourselves as servants of Christ, who accomplishes all things and wonders through us. For our part, we are simply doing our duty of serving our Master. A good example of this is reflected in the life of Brother Andre Bessette, CSC of Montreal who was Canonized as the first Saint of the Congregation of the Holy Cross on October 17, 2012. Br. Andre was famous for his prayers to St. Joseph through which, many thousands were healed. Brother Andre always deferred praise and credit to St. Joseph and God’s love and mercy rather than himself. He emphatically insisted the he was only an instrument to be used as God willed. People like Br. Andre are an inspiration to all of us and remind us that God wants to do good things through us if we can just grow in humble faith and trust in his power to save.
May God continue to fill you with gifts of faith, holiness and love! +++ Fr. Peter