The Perspective of Justice
That Kind of Faith
The apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith. He answers with the metaphor of the mustard seed: “If you had the faith the size of a mustard seed, you could do whatever it is you want.”
The problem is that we do not have that kind of faith. We do not really believe that we can accomplish the things we desire. We cry out to God about the violence, ruin, and misery in our world: “Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord. We bow down in worship and kneel before the Lord who made us, but with hardened hearts as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the desert.”
We do not seem to believe that God’s “love for us surpasses all our hopes and desires.” Moreover, we do not have faith in our own ability to do wonders like move sycamores.
And so the world continues being overwhelmed with violence, ruin, misery, destruction, strife and discord. Poverty, hunger, oppression, and war exist not because they have to but because we do not have faith in God or in ourselves.
Lord, increase our faith!
My dear friends: hard work and a strong sense of family and community have sustained you in the past in your upright Christian lives. Above all, your faith in Jesus Christ and the hope that it generates in you are at the basis of all your aspirations for a better future. … May God our Father grant success to the work of your hands.
Pope John Paul II,
Address at Newfoundland, Canada, 1984: 6
**From Saint Louis University