Faith that uproots trees

Doesn’t it just drive you nuts when you ask a friend for help and he (or she) doesn’t do anything but agree that you need the help? In Gospel reading, the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith. And we lean forward in our seats, eager to hear the answer. Tell us, Jesus, tell us! What’s the key to greater faith?

But instead of preaching a good homily on “10 Keys to Stronger Faith,” Jesus tells us how poor our faith is. I can’t uproot a tree by praying over it, can you? Gee, thanks for the discouragement, Lord. Seems like we all have faith that’s smaller than the itty bitty mustard seed.

Well, the fact is, there is no key to stronger faith. There is no secret method, no special formula. It’s a way of life. It involves staying closely connected to the Spirit of God. Faith is not something that we can build up; faith is purely a gift of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 12:9). To the extent that we’re in communion with Christ’s Spirit, that’s the extent to which our faith can uproot trees.

Oh-oh. I just went outside and stood in front of a palm tree (I live in Florida) and commanded it to uproot itself, but nothing happened. I guess I’m not in a very good relationship with the Holy Spirit.Read More »