Saturday, August 12, 2006

Saturday in the 18th Week of Ordinary Time (II)
The Faith that Moves Mountains

Readings: Habakkuk 1:12—2:4; Psalm 9:8-9, 10-11, 12-13; Matthew 17:14-20

If your faith were the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mountain, “Move from here to there”, and it would move; nothing would be impossible for you.

We probably all know these words well, have heard them many times, and perhaps have been puzzled by them. Is it really possible to move a mountain with a simple verbal command? And yet, if we tried hard enough, we could probably recall many instances in the history of human experience, and in our own lives, when mountains were indeed moved in this way. One is reminded, for example, of how the fervent prayers and inspiring example of St. Monica eventually moved the mountain of her son Augustine’s unbelief.

Monica's example also brings out another aspect of Christian faith: not only does it move mountains, but it does so precisely because it is willing to watch and wait. We see this in our first reading as well. After making the thoughts of his heart known to God, the prophet says: I will stand on my watchtower, and take up my post on my battlements, watching to see what he will say to me, what answer he will make to my complaints. And in reply, God encourages the prophet to wait for his vision’s fulfillment: if it comes slowly, wait, for come it will, without fail.

What mountains are we being called to move today?

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