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Faith like sunglasses

Did you know that long before Coke was produced, the Bible had already a commercial on it? The “ad” goes: “Have a Coke.” In Hebrew, Habakkuk!

Levity aside, “Habakkuk” is the name of an obscure prophet in the Old Testament. And in the first reading of this 27th Sunday, we read about him. What’s amusing about this man is his audacity to stand up before God and complain, “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!”

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Then seeing all the violence and misery around, he dared to question how God is governing the world. “I cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not intervene?” (Hab 1,2-3).

Habakkuk may well represent a good number of us in situations when everything seems to be going wrong, when we feel that God is so distant and does not seem to care about our problems.

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God’s answer to Habakkuk is: “Be patient. I am the Master. What I ask of you is to have faith.”

That’s what the Lord is asking of us, too: have faith.

By faith we mean a loyalty and steadfastness in the midst of day-to-day trials and difficulties like the unexpected death of a loved one, failure in business or marriage, a lingering sickness.

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In this Sunday gospel, the apostles ask our Lord: “Increase our faith.” The apostles, whom Jesus had sent forth to preach, were apparently overwhelmed by the demands of their work and dejected by the people’s cold response.

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Our Lord replies, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Be uprooted…and it would obey you” (Lk 17,5).

That does not mean faith will give us power to move trees literally. But faith will give us power to COPE with difficulties and obstacles, and not lose hope.

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Faith may be compared to a pair of sunglasses. When you go outside under a noonday sun, you strain your eyes to see the surroundings because of the sun’s harsh glare. But when you put on sunglasses, the glare is removed and you can see more clearly.

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But faith or trust in God alone is NOT ENOUGH. As much as we must implore God’s help in crisis situations so must we do our part. Remember the oft-quoted saying, “God helps those who help themselves”?

When people come asking me to bless their cars, I tell them: “My blessing is good only up to 90 kilometers per hour; what’s beyond that is your responsibility.” Obviously that’s just a joke.

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Indeed, even if I pour a drum of holy water on a vehicle, if the driver is reckless, my blessing won’t work. Maybe we should pour the holy water on the driver!

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May the Lord increase our faith, especially in difficult situations.

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LAFF ONE ANOTHER. A young boy asks his mother :”Do angels have wings?” “Yes she answered, but why do you ask ?”

Boy: “I heard Papa say to the helper: “Yes my angel, yes my angel” but the helper has no wings! Mother: “Do not worry my son, by tomorrow she will fly away.”

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