It is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards one's progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken.--Saint Francis Xavier: born Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta (7 April 1506 – 3 December 1552) was a Roman Catholic missionary and a co-founder of the Society of Jesus)
Gospel Text: (MK 16:9-15)
When Jesus had risen, early on the first day of the week,
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
out of whom he had driven seven demons.
She went and told his companions who were mourning and weeping.
When they heard that he was alive
and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
After this he appeared in another form
to two of them walking along on their way to the country.
They returned and told the others;
but they did not believe them either.
But later, as the Eleven were at table, he appeared to them
and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart
because they had not believed those
who saw him after he had been raised.
He said to them, “Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.”
Today’s gospel passage contains only seven verses but it mentions ‘faith’ four times. Particularly, Jesus scolds his apostles because of their unbelief and stubborn hearts. And so therefore let us reflect about faith. Jesus gives us the gift of faith to know Him more personally and to understand the mystery of His death and resurrection. But is faith something you ‘have’ or something you ‘do’? Many of us may think we have faith because we were born to Catholic parents who saw to it that we were baptized as infants. Faith doesn’t appear to be difficult because we use this so fluently and so often. But try to look at it and tell me what it means. If I ask no question about your answer, we may think the matter is clear but if I ask a second or a third question we are both in the depths. It is because our faith is unfathomable. It is a fact that God cannot be our ‘possession’ like we possess other things. It is the other way around, we are possessed by God.