Just maybe a good many of us have said, as we heard the Disciples of Jesus say today, “Lord, increase our faith.” Maybe the increase of faith is not in “the knowing, ” maybe the increase of faith is in the “living.”
In a Book entitled: Will Our Children Have Faith, the author shares:
“Christian education has modeled itself on the schooling-instructional paradigm of our secular schools. Instead of expecting faith formation to happen within a variety of contexts — the family, church, school, and the church school — religious education has been relegated entirely to Sunday morning classes. There children learn the facts about religion, but will they learn or experience faith? How can we be communities that nourish and nurture the faith of children, instead of only teaching them facts?”
As I shared a few weeks ago, not only are we being surveyed by camera but also by others, most especially our children. What are our children seeing and learning about faith from the ways we live our lives daily at home, work, and school and beyond.
What is it we are learning (because we are always learning) or have learned what needs to take root in the lives we live every day, more and more… I think over the past few years, this is exactly what Pope Francis is reminding us of when he reminds us to live the FAITH we know:
- stop the gossiping
- stop judging
- pray, everyday
When he says, “good works, do not keep well in the fridge. Good works need to be shared the minute there is a need.” Good works at home, at work, at school to name a few places.
As pilot “Sully,” the captain of the plane that landed in the Hudson River 7 years ago said at the NTSB when he was called the “x-factor” that allowed everyone to survive, “everyone survived because the co-pilot, stewardesses, passengers, flight controllers, emergency medical personnel and good Samaritans – all came together.”
Finally, let me share this reflection about living the faith verses just knowing the faith: Right now, a month before national elections, are we refusing to speak to our Republican or Democratic neighbor? Have we let our tongues wag with negativity about national or local candidates? You may say, “but it is the truth! The candidate has done such and such, has said such and such!” Jesus says to remember that person is created in the image and likeness of God. That person is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Love your neighbor as yourself, even it that neighbor is a political candidate!”
As the present day Disciples of Jesus, we too say, “Lord increase my faith.” May our prayer lead us to make the effort with the grace and power of God to live the gift of faith that can grow and grow and grow into a life beyond our imagining, but not beyond God’s.