“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,” said Jesus [Mt 17:20].
I wish my faith were like a mustard seed. “It is the smallest of all seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’” [Mt. 13:32] If only my faith would grow and be a source of strength and comfort, not just for myself but for others as well. However, I feel like my faith is tinier than a mustard seed.
Instead of moving mountains, sometimes my faith barely gets me to weekly Mass. And when I am there, my heart and mind are often someplace else. I don’t know why I get into these spiritual funks. I mean there are days when I feel Divine Providence at work. I feel the Holy Spirit prodding me. It’s wonderful! But the feeling does not last. Most of the time I feel next to nothing.
Who knows—maybe our Lord is working on my perseverance. If faith has taught me anything it is: Don’t give up no matter how I feel. Jesus Christ did not give up. He persevered all the way through the pain and suffering of His crucifixion. Jesus teaches us that no matter how bad it gets, humanity is worth saving for eternal life in Heaven.
“In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” said Jesus [John 14:2]. Our Lord wants each of us to join Him in Heaven, but we have to get through the challenges in this world first. When times get tough, the temptation is strong to turn away from God and the hope of redemption and salvation.
However, faith also has taught me that turning away from God makes it harder to see His goodness in the world. Yes, the trials and travails in life can certainly shake our faith to the core just as the first disciples were shaken to the core during Christ’s passion and crucifixion. “But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” [Mt 24: 13]
Light of Hope
While a mustard seed takes up to 70 days to grow to full maturity, growing in faith is a life-long endeavor. With perseverance in this endeavor comes the knowledge that we need discipline to keep an open mind and heart. How else can we absorb the light of our Lord’s hope and grow faithfully?
That hope comes with believing in the Word of God made flesh in Jesus Christ. At Mass, Christ comes to us in the Word and the Eucharist. Through believing, we are able receive the greatness of God’s love to become His faithful stewards—to love one another as God loves us.
For my faith to grow, I know I need to do better. Doing so, good works replace sinful acts, selflessness overcomes selfishness, and hope is given to the hopeless. Pray that we embrace our faith with a generous heart and good mind, and extend our strength and comfort with all who dwell among us. Amen.