Reflections - October 2, 2016

“And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our Faith.”  Lk. 17:5.
Someone told me years ago:  “In my experience to have faith is to listen to the voice of God”.
Humans listen to many voices.  God has His way of speaking, but the world has its own way of speaking.  Today the Gospel invites us to discern the voice of God among other voices that seek to numb our senses.
It occurs to me that the voices of this world can be violence, superficiality, and pride.  Then there are also the voices of inclination…..this mean the lack of consistency between what we say that we believe and what we are adopting a false scale of values to appear to be “correct” before the an unethical and not moral society.
The Gospel is an exhortation to put our faith in the Lord, our Savior.  He speaks to us 24 hours a day, but do I hear His voice to help me disconnect from the false values?  Jesus is the antidote against fear and strengthens us to bear witness to the faith.  Pope Francis reminds us:  “There are Christians who are giving witness to their faith in different countries even with their lives.  There are more Christians persecuted today by their faith than in the first centuries”.
What are the characteristics of faith?  I feel that the whole experience of faith demands love and trust.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in the numbers 153-165 (Man’s response to God):
“Faith, a free gift from God, accessible to all those who ask humbly (Lord, Increase our Faith), is the supernatural virtue necessary to be saved.  The act of faith is a human act, which means it is the act of the intelligence of man, who under the impulse of the will moved by God, asserts freely to the Divine Truth.  In addition, faith is true because it is based on the Word of God; “acts by means of charity”, Gal. 5:6, and is in continuous growth thanks to the listening of the Word of God and prayer.  Faith makes us already like from now the joy of heaven.”
Upon receiving the Body of Christ at Sunday Mass invoke the Lord saying:
“Increase my faith to come out of my “Isms” and discover You in all things.
Remember:  “There are no people or event where His Saving Presence cannot be heard or contemplated”.  Amen.