Fr. Bob Warren's Week Reflection: "If you had faith..."
If you had faith...
you got into a time machine and traveled back into history to the year
1776, and you took with you a copy of the morning newspaper. Suppose
that when you arrived back in 1776 a couple of people took the newspaper
and tried to read it. How much do you think they would understand?
experts say that they probably would not understand enough to make
sense of it. It would be like reading a foreign language. Consider just a
few words that people in 1776 would not understand. Automobile...
airplane... astronaut... expressway... supermarket... air
conditioning... stock market... baseball bat... surfboard... radio...
television... spaceship... moonwalk... long-range nuclear missile. Now
suppose the people asked you what is television. You would say it is a
way of seeing something as far away as China while it is actually
happening in that country. Suppose the people asked you what is a
long-range nuclear missile. You would say it is a way of firing a huge
bullet in the United States and destroying any city you wished in
another country. Suppose the people asked you what a moonwalk is. You
would say it is someone on earth taking a spaceship to the moon and
walking on its surface. What do you think the people would say to you?
They would say you were out of your mind, for anybody with any sense at
all knows that you cannot see something in China while it is happening
as you sit in your living room. Anybody with any sense at all knows that
a bullet fired in the United States, no matter how big, cannot wipe out
an entire city in another country. Anybody with any sense at all knows
you cannot fly like a bird to the moon. In a horse and buggy, get out,
walk around and return to earth again. The point of this little game
is to show that what people of one century consider senseless and
impossible, the people of another century consider matter of fact and
commonplace. What the people of one century never dreamed of, the
people of another century consider ordinary. The people of one century
are poor judges of what is or is not possible in another century.
let us suppose someone from the year 3000 arrived on planet earth
today. Suppose the person had a newspaper that contained no stories of
violence, poverty or wars between nations. Suppose that paper contained
only stories of love, prosperity, peace and friendship. What would we
say? You would say such a world was totally unreal by our standards.
You would say the newspaper was filled with propaganda to impress the
people of the 21st century. Why? Because anybody with any sense knows
that where there are people, there will be violence and hostility.
Anybody with any sense knows that where there are people, there will be
rich and poor. Anybody with any sense knows that where there are
nations, there will be violence and war. It has always been that way,
is another important lesson here. If we approach life with the attitude
that peace on earth is impossible, we will probably fail to achieve it.
If we approach life with the attitude that at heart people are uncaring
and selfish, we will probably fail to achieve a society that is caring
and selfless. If we approach life with the attitude that nations are
inherently violent and hostile, we will probably fail to achieve world
peace, and that brings us to the most important point of all. Peace on
earth is possible, love among people is possible. Harmony among nations
is possible, and the reason these things are possible is that Jesus came
among us and taught us how to live. The reason they are possible is
that Jesus said they were possible. That is what He meant when He taught
us to pray in the Lord's prayer "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on
earth as it is in heaven." The reason they are possible is that Jesus
died to make them possible. The reasons they are possible is that Jesus
rose to make them possible. That is what Jesus is trying to tell us in
this gospel. 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. If you have faith, you will move mountains. Mountains of
despair, mountains of hopelessness, mountains of addictions, only if
you have faith. Perhaps, it is time that we begin to take seriously
what we print on our money and hang in our courts. In God we trust. Do