Here is the cyber-version of my homily for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time:

“Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear.”
— Mother Teresa to the Rev. Michael Van Der Peet, September 1979 These words of Blessed Theresa of Calcutta have shocked the world. Some would say she was a fraud or hypocrite. Others are just shocked or surprised that a woman so loving and caring could feel such uncertainty of her faith.
And we too struggle with faith. We want to feel God’s Presence in our prayers, Bible reading, at Mass. It would seem with all the competition from the world for our feelings God would pay a little more attention to our prayers..our coming into His Presence. We often come to God expecting His appreciation of the privilege of our attendance. We are very unlike the servant Christ speaks of in the Gospel who comes to serve Christ..not to be waited upon by Him. So..when God neglects to acknowledge as we feel we may deserve we sulk and doubt.
The prophet Habbakuk was not feeling God’s help as he expected. The rebellious Hebrews were soon to be chastised and overcome by the evil idolatrous Chaldeans. How could God allow sinners to prosper and chastise His people???? What was God thinking?
Paul in writing to the young priest, Timothy was confronting his fears and doubts and telling him to stir up that live his faith and testimony in the world that was so challenging.
It is in the refrain from our Psalm that we hear the paradoxical call of God that IF we hear His voice, NOT to harden our hearts. It is no accident that this Psalm is the main invitatory Psalm of our Church prayed everyday by the faithful clergy.
But it is in the Gospel we see most clearly God’s design of eternal love. His love that sows seeds of trust and challenges us to be servants growing strong in faith. The reason God does not always cater to our temporal feelings and senses is simply LOVE..eternal love. Hence He seeks to cause us to grow strong in the senses of faith. At our baptism, every time we come and hear God’s Word seeds of faith are planted and nourished that the true Senses of Faith may become strong.

EARS of FAITH ~ Listening to His Word, His Holy Spirit leading into the Truth that frees from fear and the lies of doubt. How much of you daily life, your family life is directed by faith or, perhaps very deceptively dictated by fear or doubt. God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a disciplined mind. If hear His voice…..calling to trust…to look beyond our understanding, abilities, the waves or fear…to HIm

EYES of FAITH ~ What is your focus? The church..its problems..personal sorrows, fears..what is your focus? It is in the light of faith we see the truth. (Looking at life, etc. with critical thinking..critical mind). Faith in what we see..feel..or in the vision God will provide. Are we willing to WAIT, in faith, for the vision to be fulfilled?

WORDS of FAITH ~ We confess with our mouth what is in our hearts. Do we proclaim our fear, doubt, resentments? Or do we nourish faith (others and ours as well) by sharing our testimony..our faith story?

STEPS of FAITH ~ It is as we hear God in His Word, in prayer that we must decide if we are to follow. it is when we see Him, Present in the poor, the outcast, or lonely we must decide to see beyond our self, comfort, pleasure or pride. Perhaps He is calling to look past somebody’s sin to the mercy and forgiveness He seeks us to share. True, living faith is something that will cause us to step out in love, away from fear toward His Kingdom, toward Him.

Jesus challenges us that we don’t need a lot of faith.. We simply need to exercise and nourish the faith He gives. It is as we follow Him He heals, strengthens and enables us to see, hear and follow Him into His Presence and peace that surpasses all understanding.

{For added reflection upon the senses of faith:}

St. Francis of Assisi, not long before his death, almost blind from eye disease, in pain and suffering from the stigmata, his worldly senses overwhelmed by life..heard and proclaimed, with senses of faith, one of his greatest prayers..the Canticle of the Sun:

Canticle of Brother Sun
St. Francis of Assisi, 1225
Most high, all-powerful, all good, Lord!
All praise is yours, all glory, all honor
And all blessing.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy
To pronounce your name.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through all that you have made,
And first my lord Brother Sun,
Who brings the day; and light you give to us through him.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon and Stars;
In the heavens you have made them, bright
And precious and fair.

All praise be yours, My Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all the weather’s moods,
By which you cherish all that you have made.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
So useful, lowly, precious and pure.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
Through whom you brighten up the night. 
How beautiful is he, how gay! Full of power and strength.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Earth, our mother,
Who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
Various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through those who grant pardon 
For love of you; through those who endure
Sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
By you, Most High, they will be crowned.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin! 
Happy those She finds doing your will!
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks,
And serve him with great humility.