28th Sunday in ordinary Time Year C - 13/10/2013 - Gospel: Lk 17: 11-19
The mystery of faith
After the consecration of the bread and wine the celebrant proclaims: this is the mystery of faith. The congregation confesses in one of the three responses.

1. We proclaim your death, o Lord, and profess your resurrection until you come again.
2. When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, o Lord, until you come again.
3. Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your cross and resurrection you have set us free.

The mystery of our faith comes from the mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the saving act of Jesus. Death is a mystery and resurrection is even a deeper mystery. We have little knowledge about the mystery of death even though we have attended funerals of our friends, our family members and we from time to time feel the fear of our own death. Death is a reality and it remains a mystery to the human mind. Our faith offers the assurances of eternal life given to those who confess Jesus is their Lord. To profess our faith in Christ means we know and believe and obey Christ. The knowing, believing and obeying of our faith rests upon the apostolic teaching. The teachings have foundation in the teachings of Jesus who came to the world to testify God's love for mankind manifested through his cross and his resurrection and the promise of his second coming.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. It is the belief of things we have not seen as St Paul made it clear in his writing

Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of the realities that at present remains unseen Heb 11,1

Faith makes things hoped for as real as if we have already had them. The cure of the woman with a haemorrhage in Matthew demonstrates this point. She believed that

if I can only touch his cloak I shall be well again. Jesus turned round and saw her and he said to her 'courage' my daughter, your faith has restored you to health'. And from that moment the woman was well again. Mat 9,20-22

Faith is confidence in the trustworthiness of God, and the belief that what Jesus says is true and that what Jesus promises will be fulfilled and that is what the ten lepers believed when they asked Jesus to have pity on them.

Jesus, Master, take pity on us. When he saw them he said 'Go and show yourselves to the priests'. Now as they were going away they were cleansed' Lk 17,13-14

The faith of the woman with a haemorrhage and the ten lepers tells us that having faith in God is beyond our understanding. Curing illnesses by touching a cloak or commanding to do something as ways of treatment certainly is problematic for scientific minds. We desire to control our circumstances, and faith is a surrendering of that control. It is the practice of trust with a thankful heart.