Commentary by Fr. Jesús Fernández on the Gospel of Sunday, October 6 (Lk 17, 5-10)

Faith is a gift from God and requires a minimum of prayer, which is love. A prayer that can be done at home. We can begin with a minute, that is, sixty seconds, in which I open my heart to God asking Him to help me fulfill His will and not mine.

As our state of prayer grows, so does our intimacy with Christ. The disciples ask Christ to increase their faith. Prayer, the Eucharist, and living and transmitting the Gospel increases our faith and our trust in Him. The Catholic Church professes that faith is a supernatural virtue by which, with the inspiration and the help of grace, we believe that what God has revealed to us is true.

Faith opens our mind, our intelligence to the Most Holy Trinity. Therefore, faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit. This is why when Peter makes his confession of faith: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ Christ says to him: ‘Blessed are you, Simon, son of John, for that has not been revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven’ (Mt 16:17).

Without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6). To defend the faith, one even gives one’s life; there is the glorious testimony of the martyrs. To be deprived of the light of faith is a sad and pitiful blindness.

Faith requires obedience and listening to the Word of God: ‘By faith Abraham, being called by God, obeyed and left his land for the place he was to receive as an inheritance, and went out not knowing where he was going (Heb 11:8). What number of questions did he have in mind? Who forces me to make this journey into the unknown? Obedience to faith -to Yahweh- is the beginning of a struggle against every temptation of disobedience, presumption, self-sufficiency.

There are people who say they do not believe, but they go to the horoscope, they consult fortune tellers. The story goes that a village doctor was warned that a father was burning with fever. When he saw the patient again the next day, the family was happy because the ‘glass rod’ that he had forgotten was still under his arm. The family thought the thermometer had cured him. Faith is very powerful and is capable of moving mountains, that is to say, great obstacles.

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