My Dear sisters and Brothers! How big is your faith? If it is as big as a mustard seed you can do that. Maybe I should rather say as small as a mustard seed because the seed is indeed very small. However before we start measuring up our faith let’s ask ourselves a few question?
- Did Jesus increase his Apostles’ faith?
- When did he increase his Apostles’ faith?
- How did he increase his Apostles’ faith?
Let me use a couple of situations which contain answers to those questions?
The first situation is taken from a movie called Risen. The movie is inspired by the events which followed Jesus’ crucifixion. On Sunday morning it is reported to Pilate that the body of Jesus went missing. The governor orders an officer to find the body. The tribune captures Bartholomew, one of the Apostles. By the way I hope that St Bartholomew has got a sense of humour because in the movie he is not the sharpest tool in the shade. Anyway the tribune attempts to frighten the Apostle by describing the crucifixion. You can see that Bartholomew freezes at the graphic images of nails going through his wrists and feet or the long-time of slowly suffocating on the cross. Then the officer says: “What have you got to say now?” Bartholomew slowly lifts his head, his face brightens up and he stretches his arms to the officer saying: “I’m ready. Take me.” By the look of the officer you can tell that he thought that the Apostle was not the sharpest tool in the shade indeed. Or we can ask an additional question: Was there something else going on?
The second situation is taken directly from the Bible. That’s the story of another Apostle: Thomas. Can you remember his honest words: “I refuse to believe?” But he did come to believe. Among some Christians he is even called the Believing Thomas. What happened then? Was Bartholomew simply not the sharpest tool in the shade? Was Thomas not the sharpest tool in the shade? Or was there something else going on?
My Dear Believing Fellow Catholics! Jesus said in the Gospel: “Ask and it will be given you.” “Lord increase our faith” asked the Apostles and Jesus did it. When and how? After three days in the tomb by coming to his Apostles. Then they realised that possibilities of faith are not measured by what the believer can do but by what can be done by the Lord and God in whom the believer believes. Our Church is built not on some inspiring or uplifting stories but on the event of Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection. We place our little faith, which can be even smaller than a mustard seed, in the Son of God who “for us and for our salvation: Was crucified, died and was buried, but hung on, that’s not the end, he rose again on the third day. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory.” The mystery of Jesus’ death, Resurrection and glorification reaches us as much as it reached his human body, for which the religious and secular authorities of Jerusalem so franticly searched in the days following the first Easter Sunday. Our faith is alive and strong not by our efforts but by the Risen Lord in whom we pace our faith.
That’s why I believe that the message of Divine Mercy reminded by life of Saint Sister Faustina is so important for our time. Can I ask you a couple of last questions today? Do you have a crucifix in your place? … What about a picture of the Risen Lord? … When faith falters in Christians the remedy is in rediscovering what increased the faith of the Apostles: the encounter with the Risen Lord, who is at the beginning of our believing and in the midst of our following. The image of Divine Mercy is an image of the Risen Lord, who evokes in us faith which can only be expressed by saying: “Jesus I trust in you.”