First Reading: Dt 6:4-13
Gospel: Mt 17:14-20
For a lot of us, faith is something that comes and goes a lot. It is something we neglect when everything is fine, but something we hold on to when the going gets tough.
I am guilty of this. Something happened to me recently that made me revisit my faith to God again. This, after being a part of a charismatic community and undergoing the Life in the Spirit Seminar just a few months back.
I made a mistake at work that prompted my boss to lose trust in me. I could see the disappointment in boss’ eyes when I committed this mistake. This came during the week that I became permanent in our company, when I finally felt that this is the best job I’ve ever had.
Despite the elation that I had in having a job that I love and that is stable, I often set aside the commitments I made to live a Christian life: read Scripture, have a personal prayer time, be active in the community and spend time to serve others. I put so much of my efforts into my work that I have neglected my faith.
And so here we are now. Given the situation I put myself in, I find myself running back to God and renewing my commitments again. And I am pretty sure I am not alone in this behavior.
The shocking thing is that we find it easy to be faithful when we are challenged or are in a tough spot. Ironically, we find it difficult to practice our faith when everything is given to us.
Today’s first reading speaks of being grateful. Whatever our situations may be, we always have to be thankful where we are. And where we are is not just because of us – a lot of people made sacrifices to put us in our jobs, our schools, and our homes. Even if we do not have a lot, someone someway made sacrifices so that whatever little we have, theY could give. Part of being faithful is never forgetting the people who have put us in the situations we are now in.
The Gospel, on the other hand, speaks about faith as a gift from God. Much like how our lives and our conveniences are the fruits of someone else’s labors, we should be grateful to the Lord that he gives us the capacity to have faith.
Faith gives us the strength to be able to face the challenges that comes our way. And if we overcome these challenges and improve our situations, then we should even strengthen our faith even more. Because our lives are an endless cycle of challenges, and we must overcome them so that we may be able to reach our goals and our dreams. This is why faith should not be situational or circumstantial; rather, faith should be a commitment that we renew daily – through prayer, Scripture, and service.
“The Lord, your God, shall you fear; him you shall serve, and by his name shall you swear (Dt 6:13)”