“How long, O Lord? I cry for help, but you do not listen! Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife and clamorous discord”(Hab 1:2).
How many times have we had this reaction to the world around us? How many times have the rampant offenses against the moral order, the horrific tragedies, and even our own suffering prompted us to ask the Lord to hasten his second coming? The weight of the world seems too much to bear at times.
But the readings for today caution us: We are called to “bear [our] share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God” (2 Tim 1:8b). And what does God give us in order to bear these sufferings and endure these hardships? He gives “the spirit of power and love and self-control” and the deposit of faith given by Christ Jesus and preserved through his apostles.
Jesus tells us that if we are true to these gifts, if we have even a mustard seed-sized faith, we can uproot whole trees and throw them in the ocean. I don’t know about you, but my faith must be really small. I can’t even get my toddler to put his socks on!
In all seriousness, though, look at our potential! If even the tiniest amount of faith can perform great miracles, think what we can do as mothers who shape and mold our children. Think how we can spread the great beauty and truth of our faith if we nourish ourselves on the Word of God and feed it to our children. Perhaps even the everyday battles of getting everyone dressed, fed, brushed, and out the door can take on new meaning, if we see these mundane tasks through the call to bear our share of the hardship. Maybe the tree I uproot and throw into the ocean is my own impatience, spiritual sloth, or general crankiness. These vices certainly do grow roots and require great effort to move!
Dear Lord, today, help me to see my life through the eyes of faith. Help me to resist the lure of giving up and to choose instead to bear my share of the suffering around me, and especially the suffering of my own life, with love, self-control, and above all, faith. Increase my faith so that I can uproot the vices of my own life and see more clearly the path you have laid before me.