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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Faith and Love that are in Jesus (Our Theme Part 5)

Today’s readings:

Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4

2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14

Luke 17:5-10

Paul tells Timothy to share the gospel and to bear hardship and suffering (2 Tm 1:8). In this regard, he says, “Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tm 1:13). Paul tells Timothy to look to his sound teaching, and to do this in faith and love. In Christ Jesus, Timothy is to be firm in faith and founded on love.

In today’s secular environment, to proclaim the gospel is difficult and challenging. Not only are many people not interested, but there are those who actually oppress or persecute Christians. Further, for some it might even seem as if God is no longer actively at work to suppress evil in the world. “How long, O Lord, must I cry for help and you do not listen? Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ and you do not intervene? Why do you let me see iniquity? Why do you simply gaze at evil?” (Hb 1:2-3a).

This is where we need to be firm in faith and founded on love.

Our faith in Jesus must be such that we fully trust in him and in his call to us. We are not to be sidelined by all the evil around us, or discouraged by the deep challenges of mission. God is in control, and we are to flow with the vision for the present and the future that God gives us. “For the vision is a witness for the appointed time, a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.” (Hb 2:3-4). Being firm in the faith gives us endurance to overcome the challenges, and perseverance to continue to the end.

In fact, precisely because the challenges are great, we need such faith. And Jesus does assure us, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” (Lk 17:6). Such faith gives us boldness to move forward and do the work. Paul assures Timothy that God has given us not “a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” (2 Tm 1:7). Faith empowers. Faith emboldens.

Further, God gives us a spirit of love. God is love. Jesus sacrificed himself out of love. We in turn proclaim the gospel of salvation in Jesus out of love—love for God and love for brethren. In living out our calling, we are to be founded on love. Love endures. Love gives all. So we should “not be ashamed of (our) testimony to our Lord, …. but bear (our) share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” (2 Tm 1:8).

God assures us: “the just one who is righteous because of faith shall live.” (Hb 2:4b).

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