Friday, August 7, 2015

"Increase our faith" (Lk 17,5) Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 17:14-20.

Book of Deuteronomy 6:4-13.

Moses said to the people: "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!
Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.
Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.
Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead.
Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.
"When the LORD, your God, brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he would give you, a land with fine, large cities that you did not build,
with houses full of goods of all sorts that you did not garner, with cisterns that you did not dig, with vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant; and when, therefore, you eat your fill,
take care not to forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.
The LORD, your God, shall you fear; him shall you serve, and by his name shall you swear."

Psalms 18(17):2-3a.3bc-4.47.51ab.

I love you, O LORD, my strength,
O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer.

My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold!
Praised be the LORD, I exclaim,
and I am safe from my enemies.

The LORD lives! And blessed be my rock!
Extolled be God my savior.
You who gave great victories to your king
and showed kindness to your anointed;

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 17:14-20.

A man approached Jesus, knelt down before him,
and said, "Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water.
I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him."
Jesus said in reply, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me."
Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured.
Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, "Why could we not drive it out?"
He said to them, "Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

"Increase our faith" (Lk 17,5)

The word “faith” has one syllable but two meanings. First of all it is concerned with doctrine and it denotes the assent of the soul to some truth. Faith in this sense brings blessing and salvation to the soul, as the Lord said: “He who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life.” (Jn 5,24)...

The word “faith” has a second meaning: it is a particular gift and grace of Christ. “To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing” (1Cor 12,8-9). Faith in the sense of a particular divine grace conferred by the Spirit is not, then, primarily concerned with doctrine but with giving a person powers quite beyond their natural capability. Whoever has this faith will say to the mountain: “Move from here to there,” and it will move, and anyone who can in fact say these words through faith and “believe without hesitation that they will come to pass,” (Mk 11,23) receives this particular grace. It is to this kind of faith that the Lord's words refer: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed.” Now a mustard seed is small in size but its energy thrusts it upwards with the force of fire. Small are its roots, great the spread of its boughs, and once it is fully grown the birds of the air find shelter in its branches (Mt 13,32). So too, in a flash, faith can produce the most wonderful effects in the soul.

Illumined by faith, the soul gazes at the glory of God as far as human nature allows and, ranging beyond the boundaries of the universe, it has a vision, before the consummation of all things, of the judgment and of God making good the rewards he promised. As far as it depends on you then, cherish this gift of faith that leads you to God and you will then receive the higher gift which no effort of yours can reach, no power of yours attain.

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