Breaking Open the Word
By James Cavanagh
Oct. 3: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
God answers the question in Chapter 2, which is essentially “Wait. Be still. Have faith!” The final chapter is a prayer that recalls how God delivered Israel in the past, and ends with the assurance that God will save them again. Habakkuk wrote during a time of national crisis when the Babylonian army conquered Jerusalem. It was a time of chaos and fear, immorality and corruption.
In this week’s second reading Paul reminds Timothy of the “gift” of God (Gk. charisma) given to him through ordination, or the “laying on of hands.” Holy orders, a sacrament instituted by Christ for his Church, builds on the seed of faith sown at baptism and confers a special grace which enables a man not only to guard the “rich trust” (deposit of faith) given to him but to proclaim it with “power, love and self-control.”
The connection between the first reading and the Gospel is faith. The Gospel begins where the first reading leaves off: “Lord, increase our faith!” (Lk 17:5). “Faith” here is to be understood as the determined resolve of mind and will to follow the Lord, even when there are no obvious benefits for doing so. It’s important to note that the disciples’ plea follows Christ’s exhortation to forgive one another. Faith begins small, like a tiny mustard seed. Nourished by worship, prayer, and the sacraments, faith matures and becomes strong. But it takes time and commitment.
“Catechism of the Catholic Church”:
Pope Benedict XVI:
James Cavanagh is director of Evangelization and Catechesis for Metro-Area Parishes of the Denver Archdiocese. For information on subscribing to "Breaking Open the Word, click here. For archives click here.