This Sunday here in Ireland we celebrate our annual Day for Life, it is the day when we give thanks to god for his gift of life. These days many people think that life is not worth a lot and many support abortion euthanasia and other forms of destruction of life. I on the other hand believe in life from the womb to the tomb with all the in between stages with all the ups and downs that life brings. So this weekend We pray in a special way for the gift of life that god will give us the grace to cherish and defend it from conception to natural end.
This Sundays gospel is all about having faith, Jesus tells the apostles Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea’, and it would obey you”. So many people have little or no faith and many who have been brought up in the catholic faith have left for many reasons. Perhaps we think that having faith means believing certain things. If I want more faith is it so that I can hold more firmly to the “truths of the faith?” Thinking our faith lacks sufficient size can keep us from doing so many things that we are called to do by our faith in Jesus the Son of God and face of the Fathers Mercy. The disciples must have thought their faith was so small they couldn’t act on it. But Jesus wants his disciples and by association ourselves to trust and act on our god given faith. The alternative to acting out of faith would be saying things like: I can’t take on that responsibility, I don’t have enough faith. I can’t be kind to those people that will take more faith than I have. The disciples may have felt similar inhibitions after hearing what Jesus just taught about not leading others into sin and the necessity to forgive someone seven times a day (17 1-5). But Jesus teaches, “Act on the little faith you have. You’ll be surprised what you can do.” His example of the deep-rooted mulberry tree underlines his lesson about the power of the smallest seed of faith to work marvels. We may find ourselves doing something that surprises us and those who know us. Perhaps it’s a great act of charity; working away on another’s behalf; or, an act of forgiveness. Such deeds often win praise among those around us. But despite the remarkable things we might do, we must acknowledge the source of all our good deeds – the mustard seed that is faith planted in us by God. Realizing this we can say with those servants in the parable: “We are unprofitable servants, we have done what we were obliged to do.” We could also add: “We have only done what the mustard seed of our faith has enabled us to do.
“God gives us the grace to do great things in his name. Today as we pray for our faith to be strengthened we thank god for all those people who helped us to have faith in the first place, our parents, families, teachers, friends and our clergy they all played their part in giving us the faith. Although Christ was speaking to the Apostles, His words apply to all of us, in our own lives. Following the example of the Apostles, we must all pray for greater trust and faith in God and his merciful love for all of us.