By David Marion
27th Sunday of the Year Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4; Timothy 1:6-14; Luke 17:5-10 THE PROPHET Habbaldcuk, who lived at about the same time as Jeremiah, six centuries before the time of Our Lord, was clearly outraged and amazed at what was going on around him.
In 605 BC Nebuchadnezzar moved his armies down towards Jerusalem and in 597 BC the great siege began.
Ilabaldcuk feared, with reason, that the city might be taken by the Chaldeans. So where was his God with all his promises? Why no immediate protection despite all the prophet's prayers? "How long Lord am I to cry for help while you will not listen, to cry oppression in your ear and you will not save?"
We all know the feeling. We need help in a crisis and we pray for it. It does not come. We expect better from God who ought to be there when we want him. God gives Habakkuk his answer but it is not quite what was wanted. Justice will come, "but if it comes slowly, wait, for it will come without fail".
Answers to prayers do not come when expected or in the form demanded. Real faith does not turn God into a prayertype chocolate bar machine. Money in the slot and out comes the chocolate. Such prayers are simply superstition.
Being a child of God certainly means sharing with our parent all our needs and problems. But we do not know the full plan of creation and have no tight to expect instant answers in the form we want them.
One further thought. Where, but from God, did Habakkuk get his passionate sense of justice and injustice? It is a wonderful quality, which we all share. It is a gift from God that enables us to be his instruments of justice and love amongst all the pain and problems of our world today.
It is likely that Paul was not the actual writer of today's Epistle to Timothy. It is a touching little message from prison sent to one who found his faith through Paul. It gave my conscience a little twinge as I. a multiple Godfather, am reminded how little I have done for those for whom I am meant to have a spiritual responsibility. Paul reminds us that faith is a fire to be passed on and guarded. It is not just an answer to some textbook problem.
Finally. Luke's Gospel tells us about a request that does not get the answer expected. The disciples want their faith increased. Jesus in response gives them a lessor in master/servant relationships. Perhaps the meaning is that t'aith grows to the extent that we do our simple duty and try to live the new life that God has given us.
The Week Ahead 27th Week of the Year. Divine Office Week III Monday 5th: St Flora of Beaulieu (feria) Gal 1:642; Ps 110; Lk 10:25-37 Tuesday 6th: St Bruno Gal 1:13-24; Ps 138; Lk 10:38-42 Wednesday 7th:Our Lady of the Rosary Gal 2:1-2, 7-14; Ps 116; Lk 11:14 Thursday 8th: St Keyne (Feria)
0a13:1-5; Lk 1:69-75: Lk 11:5-13
Friday 9th: St Denis St John Leonard!
Gal 3:7-14; Ps 110: Lk 11:15-26 Saturday 10th: St Daniel (Feria) Gal 3:22-29; Ps 104: Lk 11:27-28