Reflection for Saturday the 18th Week in Ordinary Time, Year A
(Habakkuk 1:12-2:4; Mt 17:14-20)
Today, we make a one day stop over at the prophetic school of Habakkuk. He is one minor prophet that many people do not know what the Book is all about. His name is rarely heard, and his book is seldom quoted. With just three chapters, you have to scroll through the contents to locate his hiding place in the Bible. The name ‘Habakkuk’ means “To embrace.” He was the one who delivered food to Daniel (Dan 14:33-39). His oracle was quoted three times in the New Testament (Rm 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38). Habakkuk’s prophecy came around the time the Babylonians were heavily against Judah, sometime during the reign of Jehoiakim.
He complained to God, cross-questioning Him about the violent injustice among the people in Judah. “You who are of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on wrong, why do you look on faithless men, and be silent when the wicked swallows up the man more righteous than he?” Habakkuk describes himself as a watchman on the tower, looking for God’s response, which would mark the deliverance of the righteous ones from the hands of wicked men. God answers that His response to all the complaints shall come. It might delay, but it will come at its time. “If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Behold, he whose soul is not upright shall fail, but the righteous shall live by his faith.”
So, we climb the tower of faith to look out for God’s deliverance from all our adversity. Faith looks into the vision of God; faith envisions God. The righteous man, surrounded by all sorts of difficulties, just as the Babylonians besieged Judah, stands on the tower of faith to look forward God’s salvation, and he begins to attend to those difficulties with the joy of salvation. Faith does not look at problems, but it contemplates the power of God, which surpasses those problems. Faith is not a ‘battle’ with the enemy, but it uploads us into the glory of God, where the enemy cannot dwell. This is the life of the righteous.
Why could the disciples not cast out the demon? Jesus said, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Yes, because nothing is impossible with God. Faith connects the believer with God, such that the prayer of faith already rejoices in the answers given, even when, like Habakkuk, we still stand on the tower of faith, envisioning God’s response. The faith itself is answer to prayer. Therefore, in faith, every demon is cast out, and every problem receives its answer. With the prophetic blessings of Habakkuk, may God strengthen your faith, and may your faith answer you, through Christ our Lord. Amen. St Dominic, Prayer for you.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Saturday August 8th, 2020.
Memorial of St Dominic.