THE WEEK OF TRINITY XXI – SUNDAY
LESSON: JOHN 4:47‒54
One Lord, one faith, one baptism. Ephesians 4:5
You are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
This Gospel sets before us an example of faith. St. John reminds us in no less than three places that this official believed in Jesus. We can easily understand, therefore, how someone might feel inclined to ask what kind of faith this man had, seeing that the evangelist seems to make so much of it. We have said so much about faith and the Gospel in our sermons, that I think we should understand it very well. But because it tends to crop up again and again, we must look at it quite frequently.
In the first place, as I have frequently stated, faith, through the Gospel, brings the whole of the Lord Jesus Christ to men with all His blessings. One Christian has just as much as any other Christian. A child baptized today has no less than St. Peter and all the saints in heaven. We are all alike in faith. One man has the treasure as fully and completely as another man.
This Gospel also speaks of the increase of faith. This, it would seem, introduces differences in faith. Although faith enjoys Christ and all His blessings fully, it must always be cultivated and practiced so that a man becomes quite sure of it and holds fast to his treasure. Here there is a difference between two positions, between the man who has something and the man who takes a good hold of it, that is, between a strong faith and a weak faith.
A treasure as great as the one offered to us in the Gospel must be grasped firmly and kept so that it is not lost carelessly or taken away from us. The treasure is certainly mine even if it is wrapped up in a poppy leaf, but it is not as well kept as when it is locked in an iron chest.
PRAYER: We thank and praise You, heavenly Father, for the mercy and grace You have shown us in bestowing upon us all the blessings of Your kingdom. Keep us ever mindful of the treasures that we enjoy in Your kingdom, and grant that we ever cling to them with all our heart, in and through Christ our Savior. Amen.