Homily for 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C – Increase our Faith

posted Oct 7, 2016, 12:00 PM by Church Office   [ updated Oct 7, 2016, 12:00 PM by Michelle Massung ]

1)  David and Nicole just finished burying their three year old daughter, Noel, and turn to their friend, Fr. Mel and they say: “Increase our faith.”


2)  Catholics come to Eucharistic Adoration and stare at a large gold monstrance that holds a wafer that is the real presence of Jesus, to increase their faith.


3)  I watch my mother die after her stroke and question God: “Why didn’t you answer my prayers? Why did you abandon me when I needed you most?” Fr. Dominic, Increase my faith.


4)  Each week, we come to mass to receive the precious body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist, to increase our faith.


5)  In Clear Lake, Texas, Peter prays to God regarding his seven year old daughter and turns her life over to God. He figures she is as much God’s daughter as she is his, and knows God knows what is best for his daughter and she lives.  Pete’s faith is increased.


            Faith is a gift from God that we receive at our Baptism and it brings about our salvation when we live out our faith by serving others and spreading the good news of the Gospel to others.  We do not earn it, it is a gift from God that we have the option of freely accepting or rejecting.  To me, faith is like a bank account. We are given a certain amount and as we trust in God more, become more united with Christ in the Eucharist, and ascend closer to God, our faith increases as the grace we receive from the sacraments increases.  Yet, when we doubt that our prayers are being answered or even heard, if we feel that God is distant and doesn’t care about us, our faith diminishes, and heaven forbid, if we overdraw our faith bank account, we may even leave the church and turn our back on God completely.  Those that completely and utterly trust God with their whole being we call saints.  So where are we? Well, by your presence here today, I would say somewhere in between.

            As humans, we want to relate to God in human ways.  Since God is all good and all powerful, want God to use his power to bring more good into our lives and remove the bad things in our lives. For example, we want him to cure our sick friends and relatives, provide us financial assistance, allow someone to recover from an addiction, and to put an end to abortion, to put an end to war.  We know what is best for us so we tell what we want God to do in our lives and how to make our lives and the world a better place. We know what is best, better than what God does, so we ask God to deliver us what we want. We try to control God God’s actions for the betterment of our lives, our loved ones and the world. 

            We build our trust in God in a similar manner to how we build our trust in other humans.  We trust someone when they tell they are going to do something and they do it. They become dependable and therefore, trustworthy.  We try to do the same thing with God.  If we feel he is answering our prayers, especially the way we want them answered, then we build up our trust in God and allow it to grow as more and more of our prayers are answered.  We lose faith in God when we feel we are being ignored by God. 

            However, as we know, our ways are not God’s ways, and he truly knows what is best for us.  This is where faith comes in.  Faith allows us to go beyond our human understanding to more of a heavenly or divine understanding.  For instance, without divine intervention, or faith, that wafer in the monstrance is just a piece of bread, what we receive at mass is just bread and wine, not the body and blood of Christ.  Faith involves seeing and believing what has been revealed to us by Christ and handed down through the Scriptures, Tradition and the Magisterium.  It is letting go of what we believe we need in our lives and trusting that God knows what is best for us.  In the case of David and Nicole, Noel’s death was the trigger that started David on the path to finding Christ in his life.  For me, the death of my mother got me to think about the life I was living and got me to change and repent. 

            To be like Christ, something I hope we are all striving to do, we have to stop trying to control God and telling him what is best for us.  We have to turn our thinking around and let God control us and our lives.  Jesus came to do the will of his Father. Jesus did not want to suffer and die; rather, he wanted to continue his life here on earth.  That is why he asked God to let the cup pass him by when he was praying in the garden on the night before he died.  He was looking for plan B because he knew what plan A was and that was going to be very painful.

            So how do we trust in God in more aspects of our life? Start small and let God, through the Holy Spirit guide you.  Let the Holy Spirit help by playing a part in your decision making and in your life.  For instance, I could not stop drinking on my own so I trusted God to take alcohol away form me, and it has been almost three years since I had a drink.  Did you trust in God when you decided to get married and to have children? To be more like Christ, we have to pray less for what we want and more to accept God’s will in our lives and to allow our lives to be guided by the Holy Spirit.  In this way, your faith will increase and you will grow closer to God.  God knows what is best for us and we have to trust him.  So this week, try not to control God but allow God to control you.  You will have much more peace and much more faith.  Your faith will definitely increase!!