Daily Mass Reflections - 11/12
“Shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the word of life” ~ Philippians 2:15-16
A large swath of territory is covered in today’s Readings (Titus 1:1-9 & Luke 17:1-6) particularly as it relates to true discipleship, not merely belief, in Christ.
In our first reading, Paul warns against such maladies as arrogance, irritability, drunkenness, licentiousness (great word, bad character trait) and greed among other things. Instead he implores us to pursue temperance, self control and holiness, virtues that when properly developed will lead us and those we touch to the divine graces that culminate in eternal salvation.
Jesus strikes a pragmatic tone in the opening of today’s Gospel passage, admitting that yes, things that cause sin will inevitably occur, however we must strive to be blameless in its origin. Furthermore, he urges us to be intrepid in our defense of justice yet merciful in forgiving those who perpetrate injustice. We should be bountiful and sincere in our willingness to forgive, a trait we seek to cultivate by emulating Jesus on the cross. As the Apostles wisely ask Jesus to increase their faith, Jesus says to them "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."
This passage is a reminder of the untapped gift of faith that each and every one of us possess from the moments of our Baptism. Although hotly contested as a statistical truth, it is said that we as human beings use slightly more than 10% of our brain and it’s subsequent potential.
I wonder what percentage of our faith potential we put to use?
Let’s talk prayer. If you were to pray every night for instance for young married couples who are struggling with the heartbreak and anguish of infertility, you might ask God, perhaps through the intercession of a Saint Rita https://discover.hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Lessons-in-Grief-from-an-expert or one of our many great Saints, that your prayers would offer healing and consolation to these young couples. You might even pray that this difficult fate wouldn’t lead to faith abandonment or cause a severe rupture in the marital bond, as stressful and disappointing setbacks of this nature often do.
But what if you were to ask God for a miracle, one miracle every night, for just one couple that you will never meet, or maybe even one that you will, that they may in fact conceive a child despite every doctor telling them that there is no scientific chance of conception ever happening. One a night, every night. Do you believe that God, who invites us to “Ask and it will be given to you, to seek and you will find, to knock and the door will be opened to you,” in his infinite generosity, might answer that prayer in the affirmative? Are you willing to faithfully and devotedly offer this prayer every night, never truly knowing whether or not it was answered, until the day comes when you stand before God?
“Well you can’t change God’s will, even with prayer” some may respond.
But maybe it is God’s will that those who have faith in Him, the kind of faith that confidently asks for miracles every day from the one and only purveyor of miracles, knowing full well that as children of God they are merely the conduit through which these prayers flow and that it is God’s will to perform miracles for those with genuine faith, receive everything they ask for. That’s the type of faith that moves the mountains of heartache, strife, and bitter disappointment in our lives and the lives of our brothers and sisters. Pray big, because God is big. His love is big, as is His desire to lavish his beloved children with blessings. . . if but only we would ask.
“Lord, let my faith be joyful and give peace and gladness to my spirit, and dispose it for prayer with God and conversation with men,
so that the inner bliss of its fortunate possession may shine forth in sacred and secular conversation.” ~ Amen