27th Sunday Year C 2019
Faith and humility (Lk. 18:5-10)
(Fr. Peter Madros)
The apostles asked the Lord to increase their faith. We shall adopt this apostolic desire in this “year of faith” that is soon coming to an end! As a matter of fact, faith should always exist and “charity is not timed”. In our contemporary world, we should pray and act incessantly in order to withstand the militant atheism that is more rampant than ever! A few years ago news informed us about “lessons on atheism” in “elementary” schools of Ireland ! The initiative is to thwart Catholic education. Once again, anti-clericalism is easily developed into anti-Christianity. It is hard to be enemies of the Church without becoming the enemy of Christ!
Faith! It is a question of confidence in God, in the Scriptures and the Church. Now, our era excels in people’s confidence in technology that which they do not understand or hardly do so! At the school – a rather religious one! of St. Cyril of Alexandria, we learn that “faith depends upon the Providence or on the divine grace as well as upon us, on our good will”. St. Augustine saw “the power of the faith of the Church” in the seed of wild mustard that grows into a massive tree.
“We are useless servants!”
Even if it were that strict logic does not link faith to the parable of the master who demanded of his servants to work and did not give them credit for their work, or appreciation and did not express any thanks, however, in our spiritual and pastoral life, at all levels, humility conveys faith and faith promotes humility. St. John Chrysostom declared that “our desire for vain human glory puts us on the road of damnation”, in stressing a mortal and fatal penchant. These words coming from “the Mouth of gold”, an eloquent Syrian from Antioch who became Patriarch of Constantinople, echoed the words of St. James the Minor, first Bishop of our Holy City who said “God resists the arrogant, but he gives grace to the humble!” James 4:6) citing Prov. 3:34 of the Septuagint. Now, we are inclined to search for laudation, appreciate flattery as we “pursue compliments”! At present, compliment means complement since we are now conscious of failings, emptiness and deficit, and this is why we seek “compliments” and are elated to hear them!
Lord, we entreat you to increase our faith and humility!