On this Sunday's readings, faith is subserved by the dimension of time; the immanence into which faith bears itself up requires the aspect of waiting, of anticipating, of expecting, and of suspending. Habbakuk at which time he has found himself amidst the destruction, violence, contention, and strife in the land so dear to him shows us our impatience to grasp what we long though it be noble and essential. In the quickness of our asking things to come in our own way is the inability of ourselves to stay on a specific part of history, to bridge the gap from what we do not wish to look and gaze to that of the vision of peace, prosperity, and goodness.
In the life of faith, in the midst of God amidst the vicissitudes of change, of time and space in its shifting phenomena, the Psalmist commended us the joy of living in our journey in the dusty road of the "desert". We are invited to the "joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!" Within the accidental nature of living is the essential nucleus of faith, which this singularity is a radiating source of happiness. Thus, today does not pull us down to its ugly realities but that the belief which finds its completion in the tomorrow to come has come to the today and energizes us. The painful experience of the Prophet does not tarry our movement to the Lord, does not suspend us from kneeling and bowing to the Lord.
The question then arises as to why does one find still that unbreakable thread of joy within the seemingly pointless and endless doom and failures and frustrations? The answer is found in 95th song of the Psalm: "harden not your hearts". Essentially, in this "softening" of heart to the Lord we find that ubiquitously wondrous life that sustains us. This mildening if you were harks us back to the listening to the Word - to the kneeling to hear: "O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!" The confidence one feels under the truthful Word is summed up in the words of the Prophet upon receiving the response of God: "For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end -- it will not lie. If it seem slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay."In our attitude toward that which we focus our ears now gives us the strength to live that belief of which we bear. Thus, it does not matter to the person who has the eyes of faith if time and space and history plunge us into the darkest hours and vileful situations. For the Lord does not push us away, but toils with us in seemingly human way of waiting and anticipating.
If in the point of view of the Prophet, one is justified in his act of faith, in the consistency and perseverance of his heart, the community receives this individuality and particularity of a personal conviction of that belief now that is shared in common in the Ekklesia, the Church. It is within the Church that the Apostle to the Gentiles in his admonition to Timothy in his second letter. In so much that the Church is large enough to include all races, nationalities, political affiliations, and gender, it finds its definite and concrete unity in the Episkopoi, the Bishop, who presides within the differences and persuasions inherent in the realities of the community. In this cathedra, the seat of the overseer's teaching, the bishop exercises his ministry in the "today" of the Church but listening to the "before" of the tradition. This traditio of the Church is summed up in the Pauline words: "Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus".
It is then in the Church, in the most particular way, in the office of the Bishop, that the content of the Gospel is most heard and is shared by the faithful surrounding him. Just as Paul had instructed Timothy to "guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us", so too the common faithful should stand firm of the evangelio that has been given and heard in an act of that unitas.
It is this faith that is objective in one way and subjective in the other that finds its expression in the Gospel of Luke. Is it not our longing itself, in the deepest part of our hearts that we vocalize what the Apostles have found in their beings: "Increase our faith!"? Amidst the uncertainties of life, we do not hinge ourselves in the prevalent dictum of a society in change. The rapidity of life's successive events and circumstances will find man confused; oftentimes we are tossed in the ravages of conflicting ideas and thoughts that challenge our cherished values. It is in only in that mustard seed of faith which gives us impulse to bring about the grand works of the Lord, the saving power of God in the world gone awry. This attitude of faith is given life in the words of the Lord: "We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty". It is this profound conviction in our hearts nurtured by that truth, which sustains us and to which our will has been anchored and our intellect is focused that we travail in the valley of tears, in the world we oftentimes desolates and is desolate. In that faith spoken as words of necessity of the Prophet to bring about the Kingdom, which finds true manifestation and image of the Church in sojourn on earth, in the unique sacramental way professed in the office of the Bishop, and in that mustard seed which is determinate beginning and source of that which gives rise to wonderful things of the Lord, that the three readings radiate from a sole source in the Triune God. Thus, we can say "Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!"