Dear Loyola Parishioners & Visitors,
The very first lines we hear in the readings today get our attention:
How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!
I cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not intervene.
Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look atmisery? (Habakkuk 1:2)
Given our local, national and international news lately, I think we can all relate to these pleas. We seem to be surrounded by ‘bad’….and in so many forms. We seek something, anything, to take it away. We long for the answer to combat this overwhelming feeling of losing goodness we know exists. In the Gospel today, the Apostles request of the Lord, “Increase our faith.” At first, that sounds like a reasonable request, especially for us these days. How else are we going to find our way through these difficult times in our communities without an increase in faith? Well, while our faith is certainly rooted in the Lord and His promises, it is up to us to ‘increase’ that faith.
Maybe it’s fitting that the harsh words in this reading come just days before we celebrate the feast day (October 4) of the Saint associated with Peace. How many times have we sung the ‘Prayer of St. Francis’ in church? Perhaps now is a good time for us to not only truly pray it but to also act on it: Make
me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred, let me bring your love. Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord. And where there’s doubt, true faith in you. How beautiful and simple and good. Let us follow this beloved saint’s example of love for all creation.
While he was Pope, St. John Paul II wrote, “It is my hope that the inspiration of Saint Francis will help us to keep ever alive a sense of ‘fraternity’ with all those good and beautiful things which Almighty God has created.” That certainly means the animals and nature that were soprecious to Francis. It also means each other. We can be those channels of peace that our world, both near and far, so desperately needs. As we work to increase our faith in challenging times, let our love, appreciation and respect for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ be examples of the peace and hope that are possible.