27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
The disciples said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’
Almighty ever-living God,
who in the abundance of your kindness
surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you,
pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads
and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.
Today’s readings demonstrate our need for the gift of faith and the patience of faithfulness, to give us a new vision and understanding of the world.
In the First Reading the prophet Habakkuk looks at the evil all around him and the suffering of innocent people. He asks God, ‘What’s the point of praying?’, when God does not appear to hear. The Lord offers no direct answer, but simply reassures him that the just person lives by faith in God – the One who sees the whole picture.
The Psalm urges us: ‘O that today you would listen to his voice!’ For us, ‘today’ means our own lives, as they are lived in the present moment.
Despite his imprisonment, Paul is confident in the Lord and dares to speak without fear. He reminds Timothy that faith is never possessed definitively but must be continually aroused. He also needs the power of God: the gifts of the Holy Spirit must be the driving force in his life (Second Reading).
The disciples are keen to learn and to grow, and ask Jesus to increase their faith (Gospel). However, it is very clear that the way of the disciple is hard. It involves dying to ourselves and our self- promoting needs. Jesus’s parable reminds them that faith is ultimately a gift from God.
Let’s pray this week to deepen our faith and our faithfulness; knowing that it is not based on our own efforts, but on our growing surrender to the gifts of the Holy Spirit within.