Ti 1:1-9 ; Ps 24:1-6; Lk 17:1-6 : Perhaps we need to ask the question: am I someone who longs to see the face of the LORD? Another important question that arises from lectio upon Psalm 24 is: do I desire what is vain? The LORD rewards our service; indeed, the opportunity to serve is already a reward. In obedience to Saint Paul’s exhortation we are summoned to hold fast to the true message that we have received, that which enabled us to refute our opponents, the evil one and those who buy into his lies. Though out faith may be the size of a mustard seed, we uproot trees and plant them into the sea. Today we rejoice in the faith of Saint Timothy and all who have descended from the apostolic tradition, indeed all who have led us out of darkness into Christ’s own wonderful light.
As the need has arisen throughout history, the Lord Jesus has called forth from among his people great leaders. Like the slave and the apostle of Jesus Christ that Saint Paul was, these men and women have taught religious truth and been witness to the hope of eternal life. In his letter to Saint Titus we read that Saint Paul was extremely practical and quite severe with those called to leadership positions in the church. Anyone who was appointed deacon, presbyter, or bishop was held in great esteem and held to great expectations were established for these ordained ministries. These virtues are necessary for leadership, but they are not exclusive to ordained members of the Body of Christ. All baptized, all Catholics, are expected to be holy. Holiness is not the exclusive dignity of the hierarchy; it belongs to every level of membership and service in the Church. Indeed pastoral virtues are Christian virtues. Eventually, everyone in the church is expected to give a powerful and timely witness of the all holy Christ whose Name we bear. This is why we have ordained ministers. Bishops, priests, and deacons lead us on to glory—through the cross and into heaven.
How many times have we joined our ancestors in the church and made this request: Lord, please, increase our faith! We want more faith so that we can uproot mulberry trees and plant them in the sea. However, do we want more faith so that we can forgive our brother seven times in one day? Which is the greater miracle? Which takes more faith? Is it a matter of more faith, or is it a better use of the faith we already have? Saint Timothy the bishop, Saint Paul the Apostle, Saint Luke the Evangelist, and all the saints always wanted more faith. We ask for an increase of faith, so they have asked for the same. However, the difference between us, still-striving, and those, already there, is that we have yet to exercise our mustard seed faith. Miracles are not forced upon us, but they come when we pray, and pray, and don’t worry.