Faith is a word laden with concepts, feelings and thoughts, slightly different for each individual. We may have awareness that faith involves complete trust, belief, confidence and conviction in a loving and merciful God whom we cannot physically see. We may also realise that at the heart of faith is love but how might we measure our faith? Does our faith help us to live to our true potential?
The apostles in today’s Gospel reading have travelled with Jesus, watched his interactions with others and listened to his stories and parables. They longed for the faith that they could see in action through Jesus’ life and asked Jesus to increase their faith. One can understand their need to fully trust in God and to enact the faith so obviously witnessed in their leader. Once more Jesus’ answer surprises them.
The apostles are asked by Jesus to let themselves grow in faith and in love through their everyday actions, rather than having faith given to them. The choices they make to sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others, out of love, will be the very choices that spark an increase in their faith. These are choices that are made in response to God’s great love and in gratitude for God’s gifts freely given.
As this year’s Season of Creation comes to a close, perhaps we might consider igniting sparks of our faith so that we, too, may grow in love of God and neighbour. Are we listening to the ‘cry of the earth?’ What might we lovingly give in response? Small actions completed in the name of faith and given in love can do much for our world. Even a tiny adjustment can help to grow great things. So what have we been ignoring in the way we live our lives and how we use our resources that we might address in caring more deeply for our planet? Today’s Gospel reading gives us hope that it will only take a small amount of faith to achieve much.