We Need Only a Mustard-Seed-Sized Faith

Jesus rebuked even his own disciples: Why could we not cast him out? His answer: Because of your unbelief. If the Apostles were unbelievers, who is a believer? Yet, Christ does not cast them out or reject them, but rebukes them to their benefit, that they might be nourished and perfected.

The first thing they had going for them was that they knew they had a problem. But better than that: they knew who they were talking to, they knew they were in good hands, they knew Jesus would have the solution to their problem.

Christ says, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. He does not set up our lives just to reject us. He does not hide from us. He does not ignore our knocking. He knows what we need…and he cares.

We may not know what is wrong, but only need to know that there is something wrong. Really, the only question is whether we want to be cured. Hopefully, we would all say, “yes”. If we would say, “no”, there may be a much more difficult problem, a much deeper sickness, than we might think.

Like the prayer at the beginning of Confession says, though: confess all, that you may not come to the place of the physician and remain unhealed. We, can and should, rely on God, and when we struggle to rely on him, we can call out like the disciples: Lord, increase our faith.

And so, brothers and sisters, turn to him, at all times, for all things, not turning with a perfection of words and a pride in perceived holiness. And not shying away, as if we don’t quite know that he can do all things.

As the passage today says: we only need a mustard-seed-sized faith. We can take courage from this. We may only have this little speck of faith, but that is enough. Turn to him.

This was heavily inspired by St. Augustine’s Sermon XXX, on this same “lesson” in the Gospels. You can find it in “Sermons on Selected Lessons of the New Testament,” in Saint Augustin: Sermon on the Mount, Harmony of the Gospels, Homilies on the Gospels, NPNF1, vol 6, 349–352.

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