This is the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The scriptures for this weekend speak of the wonderful, positive power of faith amid all kinds of problems and challenges. The violence of which Habakkuk speaks in the first reading has been made real in our generation in wars and acts of terrorism, genocide, domestic violence, and in all sorts of disputes. War, bombings, ethnic clashes, and foreign interference continue in in Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, the Congo, Somalia, Sudan, Mali, Chechnya, Ukraine... Wealthy nations and corporations continue to exploit and control. Extreme poverty continues economic inequality is increasing dramatically. Ideological disputes continue in U.S. politics, making Congress ineffective. Personal attacks are part of public discourse. We can easily feel discouraged and disgusted with everything in our public life.
Today we are reminded that God has a different vision. There is alternative to violence and discord. Our faith can make a miraculous difference. Active nonviolence and peace are possible. Habakkuk writes “… the vision still presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint.” God calls us all to live in peace and justice. We need that increase in faith that can only come from God. We are not in charge of everything, and we don’t have to be in charge of everything. We don’t have to use force. We don’t have to be more than we are. [“When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'"] With this sort of “servant” realism and humility, we will have the wisdom to talk to one another, to avoid violence, and bless the world with Christ’s gift of peace and justice.