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Homilies/Reflections

TEST OF OUR FAITH IN FACING LIFE CHALLEGES: A reflection for the 27th Sunday of the Ordinary Time, Year C.
By Fr. Francis Onwunali
Sun, 06 Oct 2019

On this 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C, we reflect on how deep our faith is in the face of crisis or challenges. In the first reading (Hab. 1: 2-3; 2: 2-4), the prophet, Habakkuk, clearly expresses disappointment and questions why calamities and disasters should befall God's own people. However, God reassures that though disaster may befall His people, His divine promises to always bring salvation is faithfully assured. It is only unshakable faith in God that can lead us through tough and difficult times. In today’s world filled with discord and disharmony, we could see ourselves in Habakkuk’s position as we question why evil thrive in spite of the faith professed by God’s own people. Patience, faith and trust in God are the foundations for the survival of the righteous.

In the gospel (Luke 17: 5-10), Jesus, responding to His disciples’ request to “ increase their faith" reiterates that with faith, even the smallest of it, we will see possibilities where others see impossibilities. Faith is a gift freely given by God to help us know God personally, to understand his truth, and to live in the power of his love. God expects more from us than we can simply do by ourselves. That is why Jesus gives us the gift and power of the Holy Spirit who helps us to grow strong in faith, persevere in hope, and endure in love. Jesus went further to remind them that as servant-leaders, they are called to be faithful in doing their Master's will and not expecting reward just for doing their duty. 

Dear friends, in the course of our faith journey, we surely experience challenges and disasters that question our deep-rooted faith in God. As St. Paul admonished Timothy to fan into flame the gifts he has received which surely will help him to bear testimony to the Lord and the hardships of living out the gospel message, so are we called to tap into the gift of faith given to us in order to overcome and be victorious in times of trials. In the face of the hard and biting economic crisis in the land; of both food, health and structural insecurities and uncertainties, how do you hold? 

I pray as we journey in life today, we will like the righteous, live by faith. May we not come to God or do God's work with the purpose only of being rewarded, rather, let us be thankful to God for the opportunity to respond to His loving kindness towards us, and since God's love is unconditional and everlasting, God will continue to rescue and restore us to His glory. May we live trusting in the faithfulness of God who leads us even along the darkest path. As we begin the Extraordinary Missionary Month as declared by the Holy Father,  may the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, to help put our faith in action. Have a Happy and faith-full Sunday!
 

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