The apostles told Kyrie, “Increase our faith.” Kyrie replied, “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 listen to you.
Much time can be spent on this, trying to figure out how literal we should take it. After much thought, we find the key word is “Faith.” Faith, in Hebrew is “Amen,” or rather “Emmett.” The German etymology is not far from the original Hebrew meaning. The German word Emmett, means to be whole. The Hebrew comes from Aleph, meaning the beginning, who is God, the middle, who is the water of baptism, and the end, which is the cross. Together, it means the true cosmic whole. True faith means being in complete contact with reality.
There is no increasing faith. It is being in touch with the whole. In opposition to this is Psychosis, or an abnormal condition of the Psych, or the soul. It is one not in complete touch with everything. The healthy condition is the complete contact with reality, body, mind, and soul. If we are one with reality, reality listens to us, because we listen to it. We know how it naturally responds, and this is what we ask it to do, to be itself, to become itself.
When we separate from reality, the result is what Habakkuk warns us about, “I cry for help
but you do not listen!” When we listen, the trees listen to us. “I cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not intervene.” When we do not listen, we do not know to intervene. We close our eyes, and we are deaf. Being in touch with reality means seeing, hearing, tasting, touching, and smelling all that is in it. It is very sensual. There is no room for violence when we are too busy taking our time to use all of our senses with it.
“Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord.” The short answer is that when we do see, we do not act. There is violence in our world. We do not see the suffering of others. They become desperate, and when they become desperate, they act out, generally acting upon the wrong people.
St. Paul tells Timothy in our Second Reading for the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, “stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.” The Greeks give us an interesting word, “Choreography.” It is related to a similar English word, “Chorus.” They both come from a Greek idea, the Divine Dance, the dance of the Trinity, which the Trinity asks us to emulate. That divine dance is like a flame. Like a fire, the flames are sometimes one with the fire, and sometimes they rise above it, into separate flames. God calls us to be like that. When we see suffering, God calls us to rise above the mass of embers below and to act. Stir the flame of God’s gift, which burns within us.
In the anamnesis of the Eucharist, we remember Jesus’ death, and his resurrection. We remember what it was like to be with Christ as he hung on the cross when the Pharisees told him to come down from that cross. The implication of the Pharisee’s remarks is that Jesus chooses to be there, and he does. They do not know who he is, and therefore they do not know what they do. Jesus hangs on the cross, to them, as an ordinary person, and as an ordinary person, he chooses to be there. In the anamnesis of the Eucharist, we remember what it is like to be told that we chose our lot when we suffer, so they are not responsible. We remember, we abandon that excuse for inaction and like a flame that cannot help but to burn we do something.
When we are in touch with reality, all of reality, we strive to create a harmony with it. When we do that, the world listens. Many complain that people do not listen to the church, the Kyrie Oikos, the House of Christ.
In the Gospel, Jesus ends by telling us, “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” We are part of reality, no matter how hard we try to hide that fact by hiding in gated communities, putting mud on our faces, and moving to the suburbs to separate ourselves from the poor, the outcast, the disenfranchised from society. Remember, those who are separated from society, from the poor, the outcast, the things we do not want to see, have removed their soul from it. A soul separated from reality is Psychotic, and that is not healthy.