18th Week, Saturday, Aug 8

Habakkuk 1:12-2:4 / Matthew 17: 14-20
Habakkuk questions God: God promised that justice would prevail.
The Book of Habakkuk is nearly as short as the Book of Nahum. Habakkuk prophesied shortly before the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple (587 B.C.). He wrestled with the same question Job did: Why do good people seem to suffer and evil people appear to prosper?
God answers Habakkuk by saying that although evil nations, like Babylonia, appear to prosper now, the countdown for their ultimate destruction is already in progress. It’s just a matter of time. The Book of Habakkuk ends with the prophet expressing his faith in God, even though God and God’s justice seem to be far away and slow in coming.
Do we sometimes wonder about God’s fairness to people? How do we resolve the questions this raises?
“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to his love,
and the future to his providence (St. Augustine)
Under normal circumstances, we would not say anything rash or brash. When things are under control, we would surely be more logical and rational. But when things start to get rough and we see injustice and oppression and evil happening before our eyes, we begin to search anxiously for answers and solutions.

And being a people of faith, we will surely pray. Yet when God doesn't seem to answer our prayer or seems like He is taking forever to do so, then God becomes the target of our frustration and criticism.

That was what the prophet Habakkuk did and his laments and complaints against God are even recorded in the Holy Bible!

Habakkuk could not understand why Judah was punished by her enemies who were more wicked and sinful than her. He complained that God was silent and did nothing while wicked men swallowed up His people. In the end, God did answer. Yes, even if it comes slowly, we just have to wait in faith, for come it will, without fail.

Because we believe that the wicked man will eventually stumble and fall, but the upright man will live by his faithfulness. That is God's answer to us, as well as His promise to us. We need to have faith in God who loves us and cares for us. In the gospel, Jesus emphasized on faith in God in all that we do. With faith in God, nothing would be impossible. Because with God nothing is impossible.
Saturday of 18th Week of Ordinary Time


The prophet Habakkuk assures the people of God. He says: Even if you do not understand God’s ways, remain faithful to God, for he is a God on whom you can rely.
If we look back to the Bible and to history, even recent history about persons we have known or who are perhaps still alive, even discreet, humble people, but people of faith who take the word of Jesus seriously, we see that with them God can do very great things, can do the impossible. But we must really believe. Even a grain of faith can work miracles. Let us ask for this grain of faith.

Opening Prayer
Faithful God,
we thank you for our faith,
which we have received from you
as a gift to be developed with your help
Make our faith grow day after day.
Let it give meaning to our life
and express itself in love and justice.
Let it bring us joy and understanding
and make us very close to you and to people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

There is a tendency to quote frequently a few well-known verses of minor prophets like Habakkuk. Such is the case with the final verse in today’s reading from the prophet. The conduct of human beings is so often reprehensible; people exploit others for their own gain. People worship their own industry and eliminate others without mercy. In response, the Lord advises the prophet to consign the prophetic vision to writing. “The righteous live by their faith.”
The vision contains a timeless truth. We err if we think that evil will last forever or never be brought to justice. Wherever there is deceit and the absence of integrity, clear boundaries will be set up. Evildoing will meet its recompense. On the other hand, where there is a just person, life is assured. It is faith that determines the just person’s conduct. It is the good that ultimately triumphs.
Jesus in the Gospel today assures us that faith can move mountains.
If the disciples believe strongly enough, anything is possible. Goodness sometimes emerges in unexpected forms. Just when we believe that affluent countries think too little of the poor and diseased people of the world, important industrialists turn over funds from their earnings—at times in the billions of dollars—to alleviate the world’s pain. We are distressed at evil, but we must never dismiss the good.

Points to Ponder
Evil’s presence in the world
The ultimate triumph of good.
A justice that leads to life

– That the Church may bring the light of faith where there is darkness and indifference, hope where there is fatalism and despair, love where there is hatred and strife, we pray:
– That leaders, prophets, witnesses of faith and all others who have the task of keeping alive our hope in a better world, may be guided by the Holy Spirit, we pray:
– That those who are discouraged by trials, by their doubts and fears, may keep believing and hoping in a God who brings everything to a good end, we pray:

Prayer over the Gifts
God our Father,
we firmly believe that Jesus your Son
will change into himself
these simple gifts of bread and wine,
so that he might be with us
with all his strength and love.
Help us to believe with all that is in us
that he is also with us in everyday life
as the Lord of our lives and our friend,
who gives meaning to all we do.
Let him make our faith a way of life
that gives you all honor and praise,
now and for ever.

Prayer after Communion
Lord our God.
accept our thanks for giving us Jesus
to revive and strengthen our faith.
Reassure us that he stays with us
in the cares and the heat of the day,
and that, with him walking by our side,
everything becomes possible.
Keep this faith and hope alive in us
and help us to bear witness to it
through him who is with us always,
Jesus Christ our Lord.

“If you had faith the size of a tiny seed.” It is perhaps good that at times our faith is tried and tested through difficulties and questions, so as not to become complacent. Let us place our trust in the love and concern of God, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.