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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Increase Our Faith

"Increase our faith." Lk 17:5

Faith is a strange and wonderful gift. While many of us spend our lives teaching about it, faith's mystery always remains. Faith can never be quantified or measured, only treasured. How strange then to hear the apostles in today’s gospel say, "increase our faith," almost as if it were like turning up the volume on the TV.

I’m smiling as I write about "volume." I remember telling my mother in the first years after ordination that I often worried about my preaching. Was I making sense? Were people able to follow me? Was I clear enough? Mom listened to my concerns and told me to do what other priests seemed to do: If you are not sure of what to say next, say it louder. I must admit I have used her advice more than once, but always knew what was happening. When I arrived at a point in my own thinking or a homily where a leap of faith was required to let God do God’s work, I doubted. Rather than allow the word to do its work, to let faith, the size of a mustard seed, take root and grow in God's time, I spoke more forcefully when a pause or even silence was needed.

Today, join the apostles and ask for an increase of faith for yourself and those closest to you.

How do you respond when you are not sure what to say to others to help them?

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