Read Hebrews 11:32-40, Ps. 31:20-24, Mark 5:1-20 

“They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood.” (Mark 5:15-17)

That we have faith does not mean we shall not suffer; that we are people of faith does not translate to a life of luxury, or a life free from pains. Yes, Jesus said if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain: ‘move’ and it will obey you. (Matthew 17:20). But this does not mean that once we have faith, all the mountains would disappear.

The book of Hebrews speaks of the heroes of our faith in today’s first reading. It says: “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and scourging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated…

And all these, well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised.” (Hebrews 11:35-39). I like to think of faith not as a passport to keep bad things from happening to us but as a shield that prevents us from crumbling into depression when bad things happen.

Faith is praying to God for item A and getting item B (the opposite), yet you still find the courage to say “Thank you, God.” Jesus cured a demoniac but in the process, the villagers lost their entire herd of swine. The size of their economic loss was too huge to notice that a man had been set free from demon possession. All they could see was the loss of their source of livelihood. So they begged Jesus to go away.

I wonder how many times I have pushed God away simply because all I could see was a loss. Faith does not mean there will be no pain, it is steadfastness in the midst of pain. 

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, strengthen my faith in good times and in bad. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of week 4 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Hebrews 11:32-40, Ps. 31:20-24, Mark 5:1-20).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu