Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Aug. 7, Lectionary 412. Habakkuk 1:2-2:4. Psalm
9:8-9.10-11.12-13. Matthew 17:14-20:

All that we can know about the prophet Habakkuk is contained within his
three chapters of fifty-six verses.  He is prophesying during the time when
the Chaldeans conquered Nineveh in 626 B.C.  His most powerful and
revelatory  line is found in chapter 2:4: "the just (righteous) shall live
by his faith."  The Talmud (Mak.24a) sees this as a maxim that is the
quintessence of the entire Bible.

The religious founder of the Marianists, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade
used this verse in his writings dealing with prayer and faith.  St. Paul
cites it in two of his most important epistles: Romans 1:17 and Galatians
3:11.  In the rest of the New Testament one can discover Habakkuk being
referred to in five other writings. But it is our text of "the just one
lives by faith" that is most important.

Rabbi Dr. S.M.Lehrman has a commentary on the Hebrew text and says this
about verse 4 of chapter 2: "the full force of his message cannot be
explained away on figurative or idealistic grounds. It constitutes a
challenge, fhe force of which is unanswerable; it serves as a beacon from
which love, faith, and justice stream as much today as when the message was
first uttered."

Paul's use of the text from Habakkuk is linked to the Gospel that he
preaches and to the person of Jesus Christ.  This is seen within the
context of chapter one of Romans.  In Galatians he sees justification or
righteousness coming from the faith that is similar to that of Abraham:
"even as Abraham believed  God and it was accounted to him for

We can see that Jesus too is convinced of the importance of faith/trust in
God and in Him when we hear him say, "Amen I say to you, if you have faith
the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here
to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."  We all
are called to be "strong in faith" (Fortes in Fide). Amen.