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Dear brothers and sisters,

And the apostles said to the Lord, Increase our faith.”.

(Luke 17:5).

 

          Our Lord continues to lead us to His suffering, death and resurrection in Jerusalem and the apostles are giving voice to our own need for help to remain faithful in our following Him to His violent death and glorious resurrection.

          The apostles are really struggling to accept their Master’s resoluteness to go and suffer grievously and be killed and on the third day be raised.

          So do we whenever we experience suffering and death. We all struggle with it and so to keep following a Master who is not going to deviate from entering precisely into such suffering and death is really challenging.

          So, like the apostles and with the apostles, we too ask our Lord to increase our faith. We recognize with the apostles that faith is a gift from the Lord and not something we can muster up within ourselves by our own powers.

          Our Lord is more than happy to give us that faith, the steadfast faith that He has in His Father whose Spirit He eternally empties into His Son. This is the Spirit by whom the Son was conceived in His mother’s womb, the Spirit which empties into Him at His baptism by John at the river Jordan, the Spirit that drives Him into the desert to confront Satan.

          This is the Spirit which is now obliging Him with the obligation of love to go to Jerusalem and there empty Himself into the chasm of suffering and death in which the rich man and Lazarus and Abraham from last Sunday’s gospel had ended up.

          The faith of Jesus Christ in His Father is the Holy Spirit of love that is able to willingly and even thankfully give up His life for us. He is the unprofitable servant who having received all from His Father freely now freely gives, without profit, to those of us He has called to His table for the Supper of the Lamb.

          This is the faith, the Spirit of love which the apostles are going to eventually share in when at Pentecost, they too would be driven by the same Spirit with the obligation to love freely as one who has been loved freely.

          With Christ, who has come not to be served but to serve, the apostles too continue to this day with their successors and priests to freely serve to those invited to the Lord’s Supper the very Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the One who emptied Himself into the chasm of our suffering and death and filled it full with the transformative love of the resurrection.

          We too have received that same Spirit of the Father and the Son at our baptism and each time we come to Mass, that steadfast faith to follow Christ to the eternal banquet is stirred into flame again. – Fr. Simi.