Faith vs. Believe

I believe this will be one of the sermons by Rev. Fr. Michael that I will remember for the rest of my life. Fr. Michael is well known for his fluent, profound, and meaningful sermons and I first heard him preach more than 10 years ago.

Yesterday, he started off his sermon with a question targeted at the congregation.

“Faith & Believe, are they the same?”

Can I have a show of hands from those among you who thinks faith and believe are the same thing?

As quickly as a hand raised up, it quickly disappeared among the crowd.

Naturally, more hands were raised by those who thinks faith and believe are two different things.

Fr. Michael went on to share two stories to further put forth his points.

The first scenario happened at the convent where the nuns organized an outdoor carnival. It was rainy season and clouds were hovering above the venue. Fr. Michael witness their fervent prayers asking the Lord to keep the rain at bay so that the carnival will be a success. Hours later, Fr. Michael bumped into the same nuns that led the prayers earlier but this time, they were holding umbrellas. The priest asked them why the umbrellas and they replied, “You know Father, just in case it rains”.

They have faith, but did not believe…

The second scenario happened at a circus. The final act was tightrope walking. The lights under the canopy was dimmed and a spotlight shone on the tightrope walker at the far end of the rope. The master of ceremonies (MC) asked with great excitement, “Do you believe that he will be able to walk across the rope without any safety net?” and to this, the crowd cheered and clapped as loudly as they could. Again, the MC asked, “Do you really believe that he will be able to walk across the rope without any safety net?” and the crowd cheered and clapped even louder. Then the MC asked, “Do you believe he will be able to walk across the rope with another person on his shoulders and without any safety net?” The crowd’s cheers and claps became deafening.

The MC then asked, “Can we have a volunteer, please?”

And to that, total silence…

They believe, but did not have faith…

Fr. Michael acknowledges that everyone have faith of different levels but God meets us where we are and help us grow. The disciples did not believe that Jesus has risen when Mary of Magdala informed them of the empty tomb, Thomas did not believe until he touches Jesus’ wounds, and the disciples went back to their old ways after Jesus’ resurrection but God met them where they were in their level of faith. FAITH is a seed of hope that we plant but BELIEVE is our response to grow in faith.

To conclude, I guess all we really need is FAITH the size of a mustard seed to move mountains.

That’s if only we truly BELIEVE.