Mgr Gerard’s reflection – 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time

A missionary in Africa was translating John’s Gospel into the local dialect and he encountered many problems with certain words. One such word was ‘to believe’. There was no exact word in the dialect, so he approached one of the natives for help. When he explained his problem, the native replied without hesitation, “To believe should be translated to ‘listen with the heart’”. The apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith, but I don’t think they were merely talking about and academic knowledge you get from reading books or studying the bible. Faith also involves ‘prayerful listening with the heart’ to the words of Jesus, modelling our lives on his. Our faith grows when we are no longer uncomfortable about practising our religion in public especially among those who are no longer church goers. St. Paul says in the reading today, “Never be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord”. To increase our faith in the world we live in today is about listening more to God’s word.