Sunday Mass: October 6, 2019

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Sunday Mass: October 6, 2019 Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4 / Ps 95 / 2 Tim 1:6-8, 13-14 / Luke 17:5-10

One of you students shared with me a cool term this past week: “God nugget.”  Worth much more than a gold nugget, the God nuggets are the people, places, and experiences in our lives that have deep spiritual impact on us.  God nuggets are moments of grace or epiphanies of the divine.

Perhaps that’s what the apostles were asking for when they said, “Increase our faith.”  They were asking for a God nugget.  

Notice that Jesus didn’t then scold them for having no faith or little faith.  He does that at various other times in the Gospels, like when they were too worried about tomorrow (Mt 6:30) or too afraid when the wind rocked their boat (Mt 8:26).  Rather, this time, it seems like he’s already affirming them of the faith that they already have.  Even with the smallest amount of faith, even as small as a mustard seed, extraordinary things are possible.  

Furthermore, it is with that small amount of faith that we are called to fulfill what we have been asked to do.  In other words, we can’t expect the impossible only when we desperately need it. Rather, we also need to see the extraordinary within the ordinary.  In the small moments, the small amounts of faith can be sufficient. Most often times those are where the God nuggets can be found.

At the beginning of the academic year I was sort of bummed that our numbers were down.  Mass attendance is lower, we have fewer people in RCIA, only a small handful in our weekly Faith Sharing Community, it seems harder for students to be engaged in the spiritual moments on campus.  And yet, somehow we still seem to have less time for it all.

And then a student just so happened to reflect back to me my homily from a few weeks ago about the importance of that single lost sheep, that single one and who made all the difference.  That’s when it hit me. That was my God nugget.  

All along I was asking for an increase in numbers.  When really, I should have asked for an increase in faith.  I needed to see that even in the smallest amount of faith, even among the smallest group of students, even within the smallest amount of openness from the student in front of me, even in that small moment the extraordinary can happen.  That God nugget is in many ways much more powerful, impactful, miraculous, and spiritually uplifting than any mulberry tree being uprooted and thrown into the sea.

I realized that I simply needed to do more of what I was obliged to do, to carry out what was asked of me from the beginning, just like that servant.  Rather than demand something greater than what was already expected of me in the first place.  

I am confident that all of you students have those God nuggets within you.  Consider this year’s theme for our upcoming Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration.  Without any mention of this Gospel passage at all, the planning committee came up with Florezca Nuestra Fe (literally “Make Flourish or Flower Our Faith”), or “increase our faith.”  Just by the fact that you are asking for your faith to blossom and grow, that in itself is a God nugget.  An example of the simple way you are allowing God to make miracles in the ordinary moments of your daily life.