Advertising is interesting. Constantly we are offered more goods and services, being told we need them but maybe we just want them. Some adverts are more interesting than some of the programmes. Even TV Religious Channels present a slick message about how to get more from God in return for giving him more. Wanting ‘more’ is part of human life.
There is even a hint of wanting more in today’s Gospel request to Jesus – ‘Increase our faith.’ - wanting more faith. Nothing wrong with that once I don’t see faith as a commodity like TV adverts. It is easy to reduce faith and religion to a commodity possessed.
Jesus in the form of God, emptied Himself taking the form of a servant even to the Cross. John the Baptist had insight that Jesus must increase while he decreased. St Paul concluded that for him to live was Christ. He becomes less; Christ becomes All.
Jesus responded to being asked for increased faith by pointing to the growing power of a faith even as tiny as a mustard seed. Anthony De Mello, S.J., portrays God as dealing in seeds rather than in fullly mature fruits. Less is more for God and last shall be first.
As Jesus goes to Calvary, His disciples are preoccupied with who is the greatest. Greater status in the Church is sought to this day. Jesus’ response to status seekers, is to set an infant in their midst. A child mirrors God.
Faith grows when God has first place in daily life, but never grows in a vacuum. God within does not dictate to us but walks every step of the way with us and carry us when we can’t walk.
God knows that my life lacks deep faith. Only reliance on God will change that before it is too late. At the end of life, all I can say is, ‘I am merely a servant; I have done no more than my duty.’ Awards are always out of place!
150th Anniversary Pilgrimage Prayer
Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland, 140 years ago you came with St Joseph and St John; silently but powerfully you offered hope and a call to prayer. We come 150 years after the foundation of St Joseph’s Church, Paris, to offer thanks through you to your Son, Jesus, for all the Parishioners and Passionists over those years. We beg you to bless us today as we carry forward the flame of faith, hope and love into the future. Receive all our intentions as now we ask your protection and your Son’s blessing on our parish, our homes and we who trust in your powerful intercession, through Christ our Lord. Amen