The World’s Greatest Force

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Fr. Chinnappan Pelavendran

On this Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, we gather around God’s presence, praying for him to accept our thanksgiving, pardon our lack of faith, and increase our faith so that we may stand firm even when destruction and violence surrounds us. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus our Lord prayed to the Father that, if it be possible, the chalice or cup of suffering be taken away from Him. What did the Father say? In the first reading from the Prophet Habakkuk, the lamentations seem to suggest the God who does not listen nor care about the cry of the poor person who calls upon Him. When God is silent, what could it mean? The silence of God is often the silence unto our own good the silence of God is a call to deep faith. The Gospel reading calls us to an authentic faith in God. We need the faith as little as a mustard seed to keep our heads high. The second reading encourages us to be courageous in our faith journey.

In the Bible, Abraham is mentioned several times for some of the great things he accomplished, God gave Abraham the promise that the Redeemer would come through his family. Abraham and wife Sarah were past child–bearing age when God gave them a child named Isaac. Even though God had promised that Abraham’s descendants would one day be a great nation, He asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Isaac (in Genesis 22). God told Abraham to take Isaac to a mountain to sacrifice him to the Lord. God never intended for Abraham to kill Isaac. This was merely a test to show to us the type of faith Abraham had. As we read the story of Abraham and Isaac we are reminded that God is faithful and that we can place our trust in Him

Again we have the wonderful example of David. We learn about a forty-day war between the Israelites and the Philistines, who were led by the giant Goliath. One day, Goliath challenged them to bring forth a soldier who could come up against him, but no one in the Israelite army was brave enough to challenge him. Hearing all Goliath’s bosting, hear came a little Shepherd boy David who told kind Saul that God had given him victory over all the animals who had threatened his sheep and he had faith in God that he would help him defeat this giant too. So going out to face the Philistines, Goliath saw this boy David who had nothing but a slingshot, and he laughed and mocked him. Then David replied to him saying, “Well, you come with your sword, spear, and all your armor but I come against you in the name of the Lord, God Almighty.” And with great strength, David drew his sling and sent it flying straight towards this giant’s forehead Goliath was defeated. David’s faith in God proved to be bigger than any giant.

According to William Barclay, “Faith is the greatest force in the world,” it moves us towards directions completely unknown and guides us towards belief in one God. Today’s Gospel tell us that all the followers of Jesus must have faith in Him, and we are to pray Christ to increase our faith. Faith is not for the good times only. Faith is that which sustains us in bad times. According to St. Augustine, “Faith is to believe what you do not see, the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” It is not easy to live a righteous life when things are not going smoothly in your life, but do not forget that faith is patience. Trust that God will never leave you forsaken. Never give up on God.

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