The end of the passage reads, “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”
Christ schools the disciples with a double lesson: He first lets them know the potential of faith, and secondly the proper attitude necessary to acquire a greater faith.
Understanding the potential of something is critical for utilizing it. What good is my car if I don’t realize that all five gears function? So, Christ perspicuously points out one feature of faith. Let me point out another: shock absorption. I have noticed that people with genuine spiritual lives have weathered the recent terrors very well. Faith is powerful, whether you are gardening or coping with tragedy. As a matter of fact, anything the world could possibly toss at you can be handled with faith, since faith surpasses the earthly and links one to the eternal. So, how does one increase it?
First off, recognize it for what it is, a gift. The disciples don’t ask for the secret to improving one’s faith, they just ask for an increase in it, because they realize that it will be God who will do the increasing. You have to ask. No need to be bumptious about it, just pray “Lord, increase my faith.” Now, having placed the request, what next?
The Lord is clear: do not sit on your duff waiting for the petition to be answered, for it never will be without the proper disposition and effort on your part. Recognize the role we have as servants to the master. Work for Him without the expectation of a divine thank you note. No exultation will be granted you here on earth. Assuming the attitude of a slave, which is to say, the master commands and I do, allows God to work in you. It’s all about self-abandonment. With God at the helm the ship never strays off course.
Examine and admire the faith of the saints. Imitate them. Become like them. Trust God. Pray hard. Do good. And never doubt that you can be like them — for God desires to grant you more faith. Believe it or not, God is waiting for you to call. He is waiting for your prayer to ascend so He can respond in love. Be persistent and before long, you will find yourself thanking God for the opportunity to have worked and struggled. Then, you will sit up and realize that your faith is stronger than ever before.
(This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)
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