In today’s gospel Jesus chides his apostles, "Oh you of little faith." If Jesus were to speak to us today, he would chide us, "Oh you of misplaced faith."
We are not like the apostles, just a few individuals rocking about in a boat on a stormy sea. We are billions of people rocking about in multiple storms that threaten the very life of our planet. There are the blizzards of war, the tempests of religious and political oppression, the cloudbursts of terrorism, and the squalls of economic hardship around the globe. The storm clouds of nuclear war are again appearing from belligerent nations. And our air and water continue to be polluted.
So what do people put their faith in? "Let’s spend more and more money on bigger armies and better weapons." "Let’s spend more money on bailouts." "Let’s spend more money on walls and fences." "Let’s put our faith in our generals, our politicians, our economists, and our talk show hosts."
"Oh you of misplaced faith." Seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Seek first a change of heart, so that all life is seen as precious, each person is seen as a brother or sister, and the earth is revered as our home. Make every effort to turn swords into plowshares (Isaiah 2:4), so we can feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, obliterate poverty, conquer illiteracy, and enjoy each other.
Let us take our misplaced faith in power and money and place it in the truths of the Sermon on the Mount. Then the Master Teacher of these truths will guide us to peaceful shores.
Fr. Alan Phillip, C.P. ([email protected]) is a member of the Passionist Community at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center, Sierra Madre, California.