The Gospel continues from yesterday where Jesus was transfigured. And as they were coming to the crowd, a man came to Jesus and tells him his disciples could not cure his son. Jesus rebuked the demon and the son was cured. Later the disciples came and ask Jesus why they could not cast the demon out. The response of Jesus needs some explanation. In the version we use at mass it says: if you have faith the size of a mustard seed. But in the Douay-Rheims translation, it says: if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed. This looks similar but there is a difference especially if we read commentary by St Gregory who said Jesus was not referring to the size of the mustard seed but to the mustard seed needing to be bruised to give out its qualities. The mustard seed has to be crushed, ground and cracked so its taste can be revealed. Our faith must be crushed, ground and cracked for it to show its power. This event then is not a test to the disciples, to see how strong their faith is. But it is a lesson to trust in the power of God. They could not cure the boy because they trusted in themselves.
Faith has to be tested in the sense of being strengthened. This is why persecution and sufferings come our way. These are to make our faith stronger by teaching us to surrender our lives to God.
This is what Habakkuk shows in the First Reading. He opens with statements of who God is: you are from of old, O Lord, my God, my Holy One. You shall not die… Your eyes are too pure to behold evil, and you cannot look on wrongdoing. Habakkuk acknowledged the supremacy of God over all creation. He acknowledged the holiness of God, that he cannot look on wrongdoing. So when their enemies grow rich and prosperous, Habakkuk will still wait for God’s justice and salvation. God told Habakkuk: Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith. There again is the word: faith.
We live by faith which is trust in God. Faith is formed when we encounter God in Truth. We need to have a perspective of God based on Truth and not opinions of men so our faith can be strengthened. And this requires our faith to be crushed, cracked and grounded. This was what St Dominic did. He preached the Truth against the errors of that time. In doing so, Dominic confronted these errors with the Truth.
He was offered to be a bishop three times and he turned them down. He went on to start an order of preachers who would combat heresy and promote the Truth. Faith is nurtured by the Truth because Truth is the fire that purges all falsehood. True faith is based on our true perspective of God, true discipleship and surrender to God so we can worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
Lord, strengthen my faith by crushing it, grinding it and cracking it. Let it be purified in the Truth so I may see you as you are and worship you in Spirit and in Truth. St Dominic, pray for me that I may know the Truth of Jesus Christ. Let me never be persuaded by eloquent words that lead me astray. Instead, let me persevere in the Truth so I may live by faith.