Thursday, October 6, 2016

Homily for 7 Oct 2016

7 Oct 2016
Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

This past Sunday, we heard the Apostles say to Jesus, “Increase our faith.”  They didn’t say, “Increase our power,” or “Increase our influence.”  Instead, they said, “Increase our faith;” because faith is power; faith is a source of influence.  Of course, so often faith can seem to be just the opposite; it can repel people, and it doesn’t always bear the fruit we hope for.  But, still, we along with the Apostles say to Jesus, “Increase our faith.”  It’s something we just can’t live without.

And the Rosary is a most powerful tool we have to help increase our faith.  As much as it’s a Marian devotion, the object of the Rosary is Jesus and his life.  We ask for our Blessed Mother’s intercession, we pray to God the Father and the Holy Trinity.  But the point of it is to zero in on all those events in Jesus’ life and death which strengthen our faith.  It’s no wonder, really, that there are so many miracles attributed to people praying the Rosary.

The Rosary can help us increase our faith, and faith is the most powerful “weapon” we have against: despair, worry, division among people.  It’s our weapon against the devil and his tricks, as we see in the gospel today.  But faith isn’t a once-and-done sort of thing, of course; it has to be nurtured and worked at.  Every day, we work on our faith, again and again.  Like praying the Rosary, Hail Mary after Hail Mary, we dig deeper into faith.

On this Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, we give thanks to God not only for the gift of faith, but for all those devotions and practices which strengthen our faith.  Jesus answered the prayer of the Apostles when they said, “Increase our faith.”  And he answers our prayers, too.  “Increase our faith,” we pray to the Lord.  And we have our Blessed Mother and the Rosary to do just that.

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