BY: Rev. Fr. Edward Onwueme E.



1st Rd. Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4,
2nd Rd 2Timothy 1:6-8.13-14;
Gospel Of St Luke 17:5-10.

Many people in the Scripture received favour from Jesus through their strong faith. That is why, Jesus always says, especially, to the bleeding woman: “your faith has saved you or made you well” (Mark 5:34).
Heb. 11:6, says: “Without faith, no one can please God.” The Church teaches that: “Faith is a spiritual gift from God, by which one is disposed to assent firmly to those truths revealed by God as he can neither deceive nor be deceived.” God wants us to be strong in our faith, because He is always faithful (2 Tim 2:13). He told Moses when the Egyptians were drawing closer to kill them in Ex. 14:13-16, to be strong in faith and keep on moving. Today, in the first reading, Habakkuk saw the wickedness, violence and injustice shown against the good people of Israel. The people came to Habakkuk in despair and asked him to “consult the Lord for us”. He prayed for God to do something about it, but it seemed that God did not pay any attention, which burdened the faith of Habakkuk. God allowed the Israelites to experience this kind of humiliation from the Babylonians because of their unfaithfulness and disobedience.
Thus, God later graciously answered Habakkuk and gave him the vision he needed to turn his worries into worship. They had to renounce their evil ways and become faithful to Him, because only the just shall live by faith. To live by faith means to believe in God’s Word and obey it no matter what it will take us.

This same faithlessness was also seen in the Gospel, when the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith. The background of today’s Gospel begins from Luke 17:1-4. Here, after Jesus finished teaching the apostles about forgiveness, and the importance of forgiveness. Perhaps, they realized that the kind of forgiveness Jesus was talking about required more faith than they had. They have to open up immediately, and begged Jesus to increase their faith.
Jesus explains that it doesn’t take much faith to do great things. The tiniest amount of faith can plant a tree in the ocean, or move a mountain from one place to another.

This question the apostles asked shows their level of faith. I strongly believe that there are levels of faith. I will mention some of them, and we will know where we belong.

This is the lowest level of faith where we see the followings:
1) Sense Faith (Faithless level): The people in this level don’t believe in the God’s promises, though, they go to Church. They say that seeing is believing. Eg. Thomas (Jn 20:25-29). The Israelites (Num. 13:26-33, Deut 32), and Zechariah (Lk 1:5-25).
2) Weak Faith (Rom 14): Here, we see those that have pastors and priests as their role models. If the priest sins they will fall immediately. St Paul says, those who are strong in faith should help the weak (Rom. 15:1).
3) Little Faith: Those in this level doubt everything, eg. Peter (Matt 14:31).
4) Shipwreck Faith: Here, St Paul says, “These people have full knowledge about God. They have tasted the goodness of the Lord but in one way or the other they loss their faith due to carelessness,” (1 Tim. 1:19), eg. Demas, Judas Iscariot, King Saul, etc.

NORMAL LEVEL: Those in this class make efforts to increase their faith.
1) Common faith: This is shared by all Christians through our baptism, who believe that humanity can find salvation through Christ.
2) Growing Faith: 2Thess. 1:3, “We ought to give thanks to God for you, brothers, because your faith is growing abundantly.” Those in this level always receive Sacraments, read their Bibles, say their Rosaries, etc, in order to grow strong in faith.

Here we see those who show great, strong and unwavering faith. People like, Abraham (Rom 4:17-25), A centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant (Matt 8:3-10). A Canaanite woman who requested Jesus to heal her daughter (Matt 15:21-25). Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3. Daniel in the den of lions (6). Blind Bartimaeus (Mk 10:46-52).

This is the level whereby you speak and it has effect in the realm of the spirit. Some people who demonstrated the highest kind of faith are:
A) Joshua who commanded the sun to stand still for hours (Josh 10:1-14).
B) Elijah who commanded the rain to stop a period of three and a half years in Samaria (1 Kgs. 17:1).
C) David killed Goliath (1 Sam 17:26-51).
E) Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mark 11:12-22). Etc.

Which level do you belong here? Before Jesus will increase our faith, we ought to show our little faith. We live by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7-9). Perhaps, Jesus has assured us that, “And if you have faith, everything you ask for in prayer, you will receive” (Matt 21:22).

Dearest in Christ, do we really have genuine faith? Our faith should not permit deception, and pretense. Let us remember that our faith should be considered when we face challenges. It baffles me the faithless way we worship God. You will see someone who will give a priest a blessed sacramental to bless again, because he didn’t like the way the other priest blessed it. What of those who change Church because of the kind of priests they have? Do we really have faith in the Eucharist? Many Catholic members don’t even have faith in the holy Mass, that is why after the Mass, majority will go to the Pentecostal churches to pray again. What is the problem with our faith? Jesus asks his disciples in Lk. 18:8, “When the Son of man comes, will he find any faith on earth?”

Child of God, we have heard today that just shall live by faith. Let us always be strong in my Christian faith.

May God bless us with his Word, and may our faith not disappoint us on the last day, through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Happy Twenty Seventh Sunday!
Welcome To The Month Of October! (October Devotion).
Happy New Month Of October!
God Bless You More!

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