Give me more of the good stuff. This is who we are now. We live in more educated times. We are constantly trying to better our lives. We need to protect our heath. We want to increase our wealth. And this has got nothing to do with self-centeredness or greed. It comes from our personal responsibility to take care of ourselves. But in our rush to delight in the seen, we sometimes neglect the unseen: our spiritual life.
“Increase our faith” (Last Sunday’s Gospel). Faith helps us to manoeuvre through life when health and wealth let us down, as they often do. Because faith breeds hope. Even if we do not all believe in the Divine, we all can do with having hope in life. Increase hope, and we increase the quality of life. Hope helps us find peace in life.
To increase faith we must re-discover the sense of awe and wonder about life. There are many little things happening to us in our daily life, almost like an operating system in the background of our daily din. We receive many blessings during our day mostly small in magnitude that they are often unnoticed. In becoming quite educated, we prefer to find explanations instead of acknowledging them as blessings. Worse, we dismiss these as coincidences, a mere confluence of good fortune.
We have to become a bit more simple but a lot more humble to adopt this perspective of life that every little happening is a blessing from above. It is through a sense of gratitude that we can begin to see the unseen. The Divine is present in our daily life wanting only good for us; our faith tells us that. This gratitude comes from being aware of divine intervention, the smaller actually, the sharper the sensing. To be humble and to have gratitude help preserve this sense of the Divine and this helps to increase our faith.
The other way to gain sight of the unseen is to see through the people around us. We can increase our faith when we realise that the people around us are agents for the Divine, angels placed on our life path for a God driven purpose. Some are there just to activate a ‘coincidence’, while others play a lifelong role in our life. God act mostly through people around us; God often answer our prayers through people. Acknowledging everyone around us and entering into communal relationship with them will widen our frequency of encountering the Divine in daily life which lead to an increase in our faith.
We must fan this flame in each other. We fan it by telling each other of how God has intervened in our simple daily life. Our sense of awe and wonder can be an inflammable aid. It will help open the eyes of others and lead to this increase in faith. “I am reminding you to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God’s gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord.” (Second Reading).
Our faith life must also be trending with our worldly life. Increases in wealth and health must be matched with increases in faith. We will be in serious trouble if we increase everything else and faith is left behind. Faith is good stuff.
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time