Growing in Faith

Aug 9, 2014 | [post_view] Views

mustard seed

Your Portion of Daily Crumbs

Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 9, 2014



First Reading: HB 1:12-2:4

Responsorial Psalm: PS 9:8-9, 10-11, 12-13

Gospel: MT 17:14-20



Today’s Gospel reminds us about our faith, a small faith that can move mountains. Jesus did not require his disciples to have great faith in order to perform miracles but a faith the size of a mustard seed.

The Gospel tells us about a father who approached Jesus for help because the disciples could not cure his son who is possessed by a demon. He said “Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” After rebuking the demon from the man,  Jesus said to  his disciples when they asked him why they could not drive the demon out, “Because of your little faith.”

Then Jesus went on to say “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Now we ask, what is the difference between little faith and small faith? Are they not the same? In the dictionary we can find the same meaning. But what is Jesus referring to when he said about faith as small as a mustard seed?mustard-tree

Let us try to understand this according to the analogy Jesus used, the size of a mustard seed. He used a mustard seed to describe his required kind of faith. The mustard seed during those days was smallest known seed. But when it grows it can become a large tree. By using this, Jesus was referring to its capacity for growth if planted and nurtured properly. He was then telling his disciples not about the size of faith but about its potential for growth. This small faith will only grow if they continue to be with Jesus.  He showed and taught them so many things.  Jesus nurtures their faith. We know that in time their faith grew much greater, even much bigger than the mustard tree.

In like manner, our faith is also like that of the disciples. It will only grow if we let ourselves be taught by Jesus. Being with Him, getting much closer to Him, we are nourished and our faith is nurtured.  Surely, it will grow.

Yet, we ask again, what is the big deal about growing in faith?  Well,  it is not so much about making our faith grow nor about performing miracles, it is about getting closer to God, being with God, trusting in God, having faith in God. In a word, loving God. Faith grows only with and in love.

It is in the Holy Eucharist that Jesus nourishes us most intimately.


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