The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." The Lord replied, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you." These words we heard from today’s gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Luke 17:5-10 emphasizes the importance of having faith in God. What is Faith?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that the Holy Catholic Church proposes for our belief, because He is truth itself. By faith "man freely commits his entire self to God." For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will.

Faith according to the Holy Scriptures is our belief and trust in God and our loyalty to Him. Faith also means obeying God’s commandments. It is an active belief in God that needs to be lived out and not passive, this is why we are called to express our faith through our actions, that is, by the way we live. Faith is defined as the assurance that all things revealed and promised in the Word are true, even though unseen, and gives the believer a conviction that what he expects in faith, will come to pass. So, having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him by believing His teachings, trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. Faith has also been defined as the trust that God exists, and that by following Him, we look forward to a world beyond this one — the kingdom of God, where we will live in peace with him forever.
With these definitions, we can see that Faith is a do-without in our lives as Christians and is of utmost importance in our relationship with God. So what are the characteristics of Faith?
The characteristics of faith are as follows:

  • A. Faith is grace, a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by Him in us, which means that we do not intiate our relationship with God, but that God is the one who initiates it.
  • B. Faith is a human act, because in faith, the human intellect and will cooperate with divine grace. Believing is possible only by grace and the interior help of the Holy Spirit. But it is no less true that believing is an authentically human act.
  • C. Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on the very word of God who cannot lie. What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason, we believe because of the authority of God Himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.
  • D. Faith seeks understanding. This means that True faith is an ongoing process, the more we try to understand and know God, the deeper our faith in Him will be.
  • E. Faith is not opposed to science, because though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason since God created both physical reality and spiritual reality, and the two can never truly conflict. Remember, it is the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith who has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.
  • F. Faith is necessary for salvation, because believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary for obtaining that salvation. Remember without faith it is impossible to please God or to attain to the fellowship of his sons and daughters, or attain justification or obtain eternal life.
  • G. Grace enables faith, because God gives us the grace to believe in Him and the Holy Spirit makes this grace available to all people.
  • H. Faith is the beginning of eternal life. Through faith we deepen our relationship with God. Through faith we experience the joy and love that comes with being a part of a community of believers, Catholic Christians. Through faith we get a preview of what heaven is like as well.

So how can we have faith in God or how can we deepen our faith in Him? We can deepen our faith in God:
  • A. By developing or cultivating a better relationship with Him through Prayer and the reading of the Holy Scriptures.
  • B. By being obedient to God which entails obeying His commandments, accepting His gospel and putting it into to practice.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us increase our faith in God today by having a better relationship with Him through Prayer and the reading of the Holy Scriptures then strive to always obey His commandments, accept His gospel and put them into practice.