Today’s Gospel Reading (Saturday, 8/11/12, 18th Week in Ordinary Time) always make me ask how strong is my faith.
In this particular gospel, a man comes to Jesus seeking help for his son. Jesus’ disciples (who have already done some miracles) were unable to help the boy. Of course, even though the disciples cannot help the boy, Jesus can and does. The question is asked how come the disciples could not. Jesus responds,
“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.’”
‘Because of your little faith!’ Ouch! These disciples have been following Jesus all over, seeing his miracles, hearing his preaching, and even doing miracles themselves and yet he describes their faith as little.
It makes me wonder how strong is my faith. I like to think my faith is strong. I firmly Jesus has the power to do anything. I believe I can do anything Jesus asks of me because he won’t ask without giving me the gifts and help from others to do it. But do I believe my faith is strong enough to move mountains?
Tuesday at Daily Mass we heard the story of how Jesus walked on water and Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water. When he began to doubt, he began to sink. I can understand where he was at. I’m not sure I would have gotten out of the boat unless Jesus made it quite clear he wanted me to walk on water. Does this mean my faith is weak?
Another way to look at it is ‘do I have my doubts?’ I do not doubt that God loves us and watches over us. Even when bad things happen, I know Jesus is walking hand in hand with us. I do not doubt that, because of the gifts God has given me, I can do great things. But when it comes to moving mountains or walking on water I think why should I even think I could. If I did move a mountain to a place more convenient for me, then it might be in somebody else’s way. I’ll leave it where God put it. What is there to gain by me being able to walk on water? If Jesus needs me to, then I know I will be able to do it. But I do not expect to be able to walk on water just to prove how strong my faith is. I believe – even more I know - Jesus is with me and loves me. What more do I need?