Faith is the theme that unites this Sunday's readings. The prophet Habakkuk dialogues with God to try to understand the meaning of the events of history, especially the dramatic ones, the violence, the iniquity, the oppression, the quarrels, the thefts, the disputes. And it seems that God does not intervene and does not save. But faith in him, for the just, becomes a source of life: it allows him to trust in an answer and a solution that will surely come, at the appointed time.
Paul reiterates this concept in his letter to the Romans and in his letter to the Galatians: "The just shall live by faith. Faith, therefore, as a resource for reading the difficulties of history in dialogue with God, which leads to capturing his gaze on history, as Habakkuk does. The proximate context of Paul's words in his second letter to Timothy is the memory "of your sincere faith, which first took root in your grandmother Lydia and your mother Eunice, and I am sure in you as well." Faith that Paul recommends Timothy to keep and to bear witness to, without being ashamed of the difficult consequences it entails, such as the imprisonment of Paul himself.
Jesus has spoken to his own about the scandals to be avoided and the sinners to be forgiven also up to seven times a day, and the apostles realize that the task ahead of them is very difficult. They feel that their faith is insufficient, so they ask Jesus to increase it: they have understood that it is a gift from God. Jesus in his answer makes it clear to them that it is not a question of quantity, a faith as small as a mustard seed is enough. It is the image that Jesus has already used with them to speak of the Kingdom which then develops like a leafy tree. But even when faith is as small as that seed, it is enough to uproot a mulberry tree, with deep roots and therefore difficult to uproot, and do something unthinkable like planting it in the sea. In the history of the Church many unthinkable things have happened. The apostles should not worry: even an initial faith produces marvels of grace and makes them participate in God's dominion over created realities, placing them at the service of the Kingdom. That same small faith helps them to serve God without claiming any earthly rewards. It helps them to consider themselves "useless servants" and not to expect the master to serve them when they are tired. But they have also heard from Jesus a parable in which he says just the opposite: the faithful and alert servants on the master's return are invited by him to sit at table, and he himself goes on to serve them. So they understand that Jesus is referring to an inner attitude of faith and humility, which makes them faithful and awake. Then the Lord, in spite of what he has said, will go on to serve them and they will be blessed.
Homily on the readings of the 25th Sunday of the year
The priest Luis Herrera Campo offers its nanomiliaa small one-minute reflection for these readings.