Theme: FAITH: TO BELIEVE IN GOD, TO DO THE WILL OF GOD, AND TO PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD
- Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4;
- Psalm 94:1-2. 6-9. R/ v.8;
- 2 Timothy 1:6-8. 13-14
- Luke 17:5-10
1. Today is the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year C. The readings today tell us about faith! That is, faith is believing in God, doing the will of God and proclaiming the good news of God, so that others may also believe in God and do the will of God!
The gospel today tells us that even if our faith is as small as a mustard seed, we can tell the big mulberry tree to uproot itself and be planted in the sea and it will obey us! To uproot a big mulberry tree with deep roots and to plant it in the sea is doubly impossible! But with faith in God all things are possible! With God all things are possible!
The second part of the gospel tells us that faith is doing the will of God, that is, serving God! (NJBC; Vatican II, Sunday Missal) Thus we read at the end of the gospel today:
“So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, ‘We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.’” (Lk 17:10; SM)
Thus the first question of the YOUCAT (Youth Catechism):
“For what purpose are we here on earth?
We are here on earth in order to know and to love God, to do good according to his will, and to go someday to heaven.”
That is, what is the meaning of life? To know God, to love God, to serve God, and to be happy with God forever! To know God, that is, faith; to love God, because God is love and because God first loved us; to serve God, because we love God; and to be happy with God forever in heaven! That is the secret to happiness! That is the meaning of life!
2. The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that those who believe in God and do his will, will live, that is, will find life, love and happiness! Thus the caption of the first reading:
“The upright man will live by his faithfulness.”
That is, the upright man who believes in God and does his will, will live!
But the first reading also tells us that those who do not believe in God and do not do the will of God will not find life!
The first reading tells us that the prophet Habakkuk questioned God as to why God was not doing anything about the injustice, the oppression, the violence, etc., in Judah and with the pagan Babylonians. (HCSB; Faley) And God answered that the unjust who practiced oppression and violence will not find life! Thus we read in the first reading:
“See how he flags, he whose soul is not at rights, but the upright man will live by his faithfulness.” (Hab 2:4; SM)
3. The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. The responsorial psalm tells us to be faithful to God, that is, to have faith in God and to obey God! Thus the response:
“O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.” (Ps 94:8; SM)
The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first and second stanzas tell us to praise and worship God who is our shepherd and savior! The third stanza from which the response is taken tells us to be faithful to God, that is, to believe in God and to do his will! (CSB; NJBC) Thus the third stanza:
“O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as on that day at Massah in the desert when your fathers put me to the test; when they tried me, though they saw my work.” (Ps 94:7c-9; SM)
Meribah (Hebrew), that is, to quarrel with God! Massah (Hebrew), that is, to test God! That is, do not quarrel with God and do not test God, but be faithful to God!
4. The second reading tells us to proclaim the good news even in the face of suffering, so that all may believe in God and do the will of God! Thus we read in the second reading:
“So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but with me, bear the hardships for the sake of the Good News, relying on the power of God.” (2 Tm 1:8; SM)
5. Today we thank God for the gift of faith and we ask God to increase our faith, to help us do his will and to proclaim his good news, so that others may also believe in God and do the will of God! God bless you! Amen!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.