Luke 17:5-10 Lord increase our faith In today’s Gospel the disciples asked Jesus for an increase of faith. We too ask God to increase our faith. By asking God to increase our faith we want God to help us to grow in our understanding and love of him who has revealed himself in Scripture and Tradition. We also ask God to help us to trust in him who is trustworthy and loving. Yet, there are times when our faith in God has been shaken. There are times that we suffer such as money problems, an illness or a death of a love one. It is at those times that we feel abandoned by God or that he doesn’t care. In today’s first reading we hear that the Prophet Habakkuk was complaining to God about his sufferings and the feeling that God does not care and seems to be different. Thus, God responds through a vision. The Lord told the prophet that he will fulfill his promises at the right time. If it is delayed, wait for it. And the just will preserver because of faith. Or we may feel like Timothy in the second reading who was wavering in his faith and doubted his vocation as a preacher for the Gospel due to rejection and persecution. Thus, St. Paul encouraged Timothy to have strength from God to continue to preach his faith. And there may have been times that like the disciples in the Gospel we feel that our faith is not adequate. Yet, in the Gospel Jesus responded to the disciples request with an image. Jesus says that if one has faith as small as a mustard seed then one can say to the mulberry tree, which is large and have deep roots, to be moved to the sea. In other words, Jesus was saying that the quality of faith is more important than the quality. Therefore, in spite of hardships, hostility and rejection in living one’s faith, or the feeling of inadequate faith, it is the smallest bit of faith which can go along ways. God answers our petition for a deeper faith by sending down the Holy Spirit to help us to believe. The Holy Spirit helps us with our faith by opening our minds to understand and accept the revealed truth about God. But also, the Holy Spirit helps us with our faith by moving our hearts to love God. Besides, the Holy Spirit, we also receive help from Mary and the saints. Not only we receive God’s help through the intercession of those in heaven but we are also encouraged by the examples of those who have persevered in their faith. For example, the Blessed Mother who trusted in God’s word even in difficult and unexplainable situations. Or the constancy of St. Monica who prayed and cried to God for the conversion of her son Augustine. Thus, God answered her prayer at the proper time and Augustine was baptized and eventually became a bishop and a saint. Even though faith is a gift from God we are asked to respond in faith to God. We practice our faith by spending time with God in prayer. We grow in our understanding of God by reading the Bible or going to religion classes. Prayer also deepens our relationship with God such as making a morning offering by entrusting our day to his caring hands. Also, when faced in making a difficult decision make an act of faith by asking to be inspired to know God’s will and the strength to carry it out. We also grown in our relationship with our Lord through the Sacraments especially through regular confession which we not only receive pardon from our sins but we are also being restored to a relationship with God. Furthermore, our relationship with God is strengthen by receiving Holy Communion at Mass. Therefore, may we ask our Lord for a deeper faith to trust and to believe in him.