In our first reading we hear words of frustration and hopelessness – “How long O Lord, I cry for help”. How often has each of us felt frustration such as this? But God says to the prophet and to us later in this book, trust me – I have this! I have the answer, but you must have faith! I’ve got a plan! A clear vision of the future.” In the gospel, the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith. But increasing faith is what WE must do for ourselves. St. Pope John Paul II said that “Suffering is an invitation to be like the Son by doing the will of the Father.” Through suffering our faith grows and we are connected to the cross of Jesus. Our blindness to His presence during our difficult times makes him no less present. But the strength of our faith during those times makes us more present and trusting in Him. We are to listen for the Lord, be patient and be faithful, and trust in his plan…and be careful when we hear His voice not to harden our hearts.
As Vincentians, we deal with so much adversity and see hopelessness and despair. The greatest gift we carry to those in need is the gift of faith and hope. We are to carry the answer of God to those in need – do not despair! Trust in the Lord always! Listen for His voice! St Vincent modeled throughout his life strength in overcoming adversity by trusting in God’s plan and being His instrument of hope to those who are hopeless. When faced with adversity for myself and others, do I turn to God in faith, seeking His will in all things? Do I trust fully that He will provide me the answers? Am I the face of despair or the face of hope?
Lord Jesus, in our humanity we can feel the frustration and the anger of Habakkuk. We too cry out from time to time as we do not see nor understand your plan for ourselves and so many in suffering. Give us the courage to increase in faith by embracing suffering and hardships. Sustain us in your love that we may come to accept your will especially when we do not understand. Let our doubt and our fear be replaced by your certain hope, with faith and trust in your desire that we all be enveloped in your loving embrace. We pray all of this in your name. Amen