Faith Thrives in Trust

Matthew 13: 54-58
Acts 18: 1-8 / Ps 98: 1-4

He did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
(Matthew 13:58)

Success seems like some kind of disease
For people with crab mentality;
The claims of envy and prejudice
Can only lead to disunity.

Jesus came back to His hometown of Nazareth and began to teach the people in their synagogue. His words of wisdom and miraculous works surprised the people who had known Him since He was a child. “Where did this man get such wisdom and miraculous powers? Is he not the carpenter’s son?” (13:55.) When He saw the cynicism and prejudice of His own townsfolk, Jesus could only shake His head and say, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house” (Mt.13:57). Because they took offence at him, He did not do many miracles there, due to their lack of faith.

Reflection

The Holy Spirit cannot work wonders in the lives of those who lack faith in Jesus Christ, or take a cynical view about matters beyond reason or deduction. It is sad, as we see in today’s Gospel passage, that more often than not it is those who are close or familiar to us who doubt our sincerity and/or capability to deliver. Nevertheless, when it comes to the work of evangelization, we must always put our confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit, for it is He Who makes all things possible. All that is required of us is to believe that the outcome will be positive. And almost always it is.

When we were tasked by the head of our community to open an outreach in faraway Gen. Santos city, the previous director of mission and an old high school classmate expressed their apprehension when we presented to the governance the scheduled date of the first breakfast meeting in that planned outreach in South Cotabato. “Isn’t this too soon?” “Do you have a list of the prospects you have invited?” “Are you sure the venue is appropriate?” These were clearly questions that implied that being fresh in the job, and new members at that, we may not be up to the challenge. But the head of our community had more faith, and encouraged us to go ahead with our plan. His confidence was enough to allay our offended feelings, and we worked and prayed harder for the success of the first breakfast meeting, which eventually saw more than 70 guests in attendance that fateful Saturday morning.

Those who would be cynical or biased rather than trust and believe are given over to hardness of heart. Then they follow their own designs, which, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, ultimately end in failure.

Lord, fill our hearts with Your grace of humility and trust, that we may always be faithful in following all Your designs. Amen.

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