A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Posted on: January 30, 2014

We call ourselves people of faith. But how strong is our faith? Are we people of great or little faith?

I wondered this as I read Matthew 14:34-36* the other night:

And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized him [Jesus], they sent round to all that region and brought to him all that were sick, and begged him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.

What faith these people had, that they believed they could be healed by touching the fringe of his garment—that Jesus’ power to heal was so great, they didn’t need him to speak a word or lay his hands on them!

Other examples of great faith in Scripture can encourage and inspire us:

  • Genesis 13:14-16: Abraham learned that he would have many descendants, but he had to wait until he reached the age of 100 for the birth of his son Isaac (Genesis 21:1-7).
  • Matthew 9:18: A ruler whose daughter had died trusted that she would be restored to life by Jesus’ touch.
  • Matthew 9:20-21: A woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years believed that she would be healed simply by touching the fringe of Jesus’ clothing.
  • Luke 7:6-8: A centurion whose servant was ill sent his friends to tell Jesus he was not worthy to have Jesus enter his house, but just a word from Jesus would heal his servant.

And if we recognize that our faith isn’t as strong as we’d like it to be, we’re in good company:

  • Matthew 8:24-26: The disciples worried a storm would capsize their boat and begged Jesus to save them. He calmed the storm after asking them, “Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?”
  • Matthew 14:29-31: Peter began walking to Jesus on the water, but he became afraid and began to sink. He asked Jesus to save him. As Jesus did so, he asked, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
  • Matthew 9:24: People laughed at the idea that Jesus could restore the ruler’s daughter to life.
  • Mark 9:22b: The father of a boy possessed by a mute spirit asked Jesus to help—if he could do anything.

We can say to God (as this father did in Mark 9:24), “I believe; help my unbelief!” He knows that we are only human and need to grow in our faith. And he reassures us, promising that he will hear and answer us when we call on him:

“Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

May we grow in our faith, that we may have faith “as a grain of mustard seed” (see Matthew 17:20).

(Scripture quotes and references taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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