Fan Into Flame

10-02-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Manasseh Iorchir, VC

This weekend, the Readings from Holy Scripture invite us to reflect upon the theme of faith. We are presented with Israel’s faith experience at the time of the Prophet Habakkuk in the old covenant, and the faith to which we are called in the new dispensation.

From the First Reading we hear how Israel’s suffering poor drifted towards despair as a result of God’s seeming hesitation in responding to their cry for retribution in the face of strife, destruction and violence. God’s eventual response was to resolve doubts about His justice, urging the people to live by faith in His promises, even if contemporary events seem contradictory or inexplicable, and to patiently believe even if the fulfillment of the promises seem delayed. The First Reading encourages us to hold on firmly to our faith in God even when evil and proponents of darkness seem to be enjoying momentary triumph.

This is the faith that St. Paul invites St. Timothy to hold onto and to fan into flame in his missive to his beloved protege. In the preceding passage, Paul hopes that Timothy had received a full dosage of the faith from Lois, his grandmother, and Eunice, his mother. Consequently, Paul exhorts him to work hard in order to grow the faith and its accompanying charisma which he received when hands were laid on him, preaching the faith courageously and following the example of Paul who was never ashamed of, or afraid to, preach the faith. In each of us, God has graciously deposited gifts to be used in furtherance of His Holy will. It will be a very sad thing if, for whatever reason, we fail to identify, nurture and deploy these gifts in service of the Gospel and the advancement of humanity.

Sometimes, after an honest evaluation of our faith and charisma, we may be tempted to feel grossly inadequate. Jesus reminds us that we need not worry because even if our faith is of a size comparable to a mustard seed, we can achieve unimaginable outcomes if we put it into active use.

However, for our little faith to bear unimaginable fruits, we must resolve to commit to round-the- clock witnessing to the Gospel values. The faithful servant of virtue works consistently and tirelessly without expecting any commendation.

Let us pray for the exorcism of any minimalist spirit that clogs our Spiritual growth and for a generous disposition committed to total self-giving for the advancement of God’s kingdom of love and peace.

Please be kind and may God bless you.

Fr. Manasseh