TRINITY – WEEK 14 – MONDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 17:14‒21
If I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. I Corinthians 13:2
This Gospel (Luke 17:11‒19) places before us a simple story or event that is quite easy to understand and requires little explanation. But although it is quite simple, it sets before us a most important example. In the case of the lepers, it teaches us faith; in respect to Christ, it teaches us love. And faith and love constitute the whole essence of a Christian, as I have so frequently stated.
Faith receives; love gives. Faith brings a man to God; love brings him to his neighbor. Through faith, man lets himself be benefited by God; through love, he does good to his neighbor. He who has faith has all things from God and is blessed and rich; henceforth he needs nothing more. All that he does, he arranges for the good and benefit of his neighbor, and he does all this through love, even as God has done all things for him through faith. He draws good from above through faith, and he dispenses it here below through love.
The saints who have acquired their holy status by works violently oppose all this; their merits and good works concern themselves rather than their neighbor. They live for themselves alone. They do their good without faith. These two sides of the Christian life, faith and love, are well illustrated in this story of the cleansing of the ten lepers.
PRAYER: Lord God, heavenly Father, strengthen our faith that it becomes the real fountain and source of all that is good and blessed in our lives as Christians, and produces a rich harvest in fruits of love to our neighbor, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.