This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time
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The Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
What must I do to increase my faith?
1. Take a leap of faith. That’s right. If you want to increase your faith, then you gotta take a leap of faith! Experiment with the words our Savior gave us: love your enemies; do good to those who harm you; forgive seven times seventy times.
Not too long ago, I watched a documentary on the life of Gary Ridgeway, and American serial killer who confessed to the killing of over eighty women. At his sentencing, family members were given an opportunity to speak to him. And boy did they. As one family member after another hurled insult after insult at him, I couldn’t help but cheer them on: Rot in prison Gary Ridgeway! I hope you suffer a slow and painful death! Go to hell Ridgeway!
Through it all, Ridgeway showed little to no emotion. He remained stone faced, even a bit defiant.
But that all changed when one elderly man addressed him and said something no one expected to hear. I can’t remember word for word what the man said, but it went something like this: I grew up a Christian and I believe in everything that Jesus Christ said and did. You have tested my faith, Gary. This is not an easy thing for me to say, but I can honestly say that I forgive you. I truly forgive you.
As he spoke, the stone faced serial murderer began to shake all over. He broke down and began to cry. The old man’s words had touched the small amount of humanity left inside the cold blooded murderers heart.
There is only one way to increase one’s faith: by taking a leap of faith.
Experience his mercy. Experience his forgiveness. Take a leap of faith. Go to confession.
2. Experience what He experienced. Live like the Lord and see what happens next. Do you think you will experience what He experienced? Yep! I guarantee it! You will be loved and hated; respected and ridiculed; adored and scorned. You will experience what I call righteous suffering; that is, a suffering that is painful yet meaningful, which feels as good as it is painful. You will experience the good, the bad and the ugly that comes from standing up for what is right, good and holy.
You will know what it feels like to suffer for God’s sake!
Live like He did and experience what He experienced: a lack of empathy and ingratitude.
Believe it or not, the Lord was surrounded by loneliness: by sinners, doubters, distractors, betrayers and deniers. And yet, every time He came in contact with them and converted them, it was like a breath of fresh air. It charged Him. It gave life to Him. It strengthened Him. So experience the power that radiates through Him and comes to Him by means of humility, obedience, poverty, simplicity. Experience the power that comes to Him from His Father’s goal and mission in life: to reach out to the unwanted and to love the unloveable.
Live like that and you will increase your faith in Him. (63)
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- Lk 17:5