Mission Society of the Philippines


19th Sunday C

Lk 12:32-48

THE SECOND VATICAN Council teaches us that the Church is a pilgrim Church. She is on a journey toward the Father’s kingdom or home. This journey may not be an easy journey because it is filled with doubts, fears, and anxieties. What helps us in this journey is faith. Faith becomes the guiding light which helps us see what is to come, and helps us understand and clear out whatever doubts are there. Let us reflect further on this faith which is a theme of our readings today.

First of all, the Letter to the Hebrews, in the Second Reading, has a beautiful definition of faith. The author says that “Faith is a realization of what is hoped for and of evidence of things not seen. Because of it the ancients were all attested.”  Faith is understood here in terms of confidence and hope. It is quite interesting that the “ancients”, like Abraham, were recalled not because they believed in Christ. This book is in the New Testament, yet faith here is not directed toward Christ. Rather the faith of these “ancients” serves as an inspiration of the Hebrew community to endure and to remain steadfast in the trust of the God who remains true to his promises. This is one way of encouraging them, and also us, to endure in the midst of trials and difficulties. So, faith here is a trusting faith. It is an aspect of faith that we most of us often fail to develop.

Secondly, in the gospel, we heard another idea of faith. Here, Jesus tells his disciples, “Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven, that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.” At that time, the community was still small, and as a minority, the community tended to look for security. But the security was directed to wealth or acquiring riches. Why? Because wealth or riches gain and maintain influence. Jesus saw that, and there, he invited them to look for security, not through acquisition of many things, but in the treasures of God. The invitation for them is to sell the possessions, and instead, depend only in God. This point has something to do with the last Sunday’s gospel, that is, the Parable of the Rich Fool. When God becomes the real treasure in life, this faith-relationship with God would also grow.

Thus, the readings today give us two different understanding on faith. On the one hand, it tells us that in our journey to the unknown, and in situations through which we experience trials and difficulties, what is needed is a mature faith. This faith is full of trust, even when we feel that the odds do not show positively. Like Abraham, we must cling to the promise that God will not fail us. We trust that God remains faithful to his promises, and that He remains good to us. On the other hand, we are being reminded that our own security and treasure is God. So, we should learn always to depend on him, and not on things that the world constantly allures us. Having faith in God means that we remain dependent on Him.

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