Jesus said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" With these words of Jesus to Peter, He reminds us of the importance of deepening and strengthening our faith in Him as Catholic Christians. Faith as we were taught in the Catechism of the Catholic Church is 'first of all a personal adherence of man to God. At the same time, and inseparably, it is a free assent to the whole truth that God has revealed.' This means that faith is the attachment or commitment of man to God, expressed by an approval or agreement. Faith is also an entirely free gift that God gives to man that makes us taste in advance the light of the beatific vision, the goal of our journey here below. If that is the case, how attached or committed are we to God? How have we expressed our approval and agreement of the whole truth that God has revealed? Why don’t we pay attention to the light of the beatific vision, the goal of our journey here on earth? Today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Matthew 14:22-33 reveals some of the reasons why we have failed in deepening and strengthening our faith in God.

The first reason is Fear. Like Peter in the gospel reading, we are scared of our environment or surroundings. We are scared of the reaction of people around us, their criticisms, their rejection, and the persecution we will encounter in living out and proclaiming the gospel of Christ. We worry about what people think about us and what they will say about us and we forget to concentrate and focus on Christ our Savior.

The second reason is Pride. Many times, we make the proclamation and the living out of the gospel about us and not about God. Sometimes we preach our own gospel centered on our own beliefs, prejudices and idiosyncrasies rather than on the teachings of Christ as taught in the doctrines and teachings of the Catholic Church. We even live out the gospel for the praise and approval of people instead of God.

The third reason is Laziness. We find it difficult to learn more about our faith, practice our faith, and proclaim our faith in God to others. We give excuses for not having time for God in our lives yet we have time for everything else. Where would we be today without God? And what would we have today with Him? No excuse is greater or more important than God. The last reason is impatience. We find it difficult to accept or tolerate delay in our journey back to God. We sincerely want to make changes in our spiritual lives but we are not patient enough to let it be a reality. We lack the spirit of perseverance in the call to repentance and change in our spiritual lives. We always look for the easiest way out and forget that the journey to true conversion and repentance is a gradual and dedicated process.

My dear brothers and sisters, now is the time to start deepening and strengthening our faith in God. Now is the time to let go of the past and focus more on Jesus by trusting and hoping in Him as we deepen and strengthen our faith in Him. So, let us pray for the grace to fight the vices of Fear, Pride, Laziness and Impatience with the virtues of Courage, Humility, Perseverance and Patience. Amen!