“Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.” – Mt. 20:26

There is a story about St. Christopher: As a youth, Christopher was gifted in every way, except faith. He was physically strong, good-hearted, mellow, and well-liked by all. He was also generous, using his physical strength to help others. His one fault was that he found it hard to believe in God. This, however, did not prevent him from using his gifts to serve others. He became a ferry-boat operator, spending his life helping to carry people across a dangerous river. One night, during a storm, the ferry-boat capsized and Christopher dove into the dark waters to rescue a young child. Carrying that child to the shore, he gazed upon the child and saw there the face of Christ.

The story gives us an answer, a practical one, to one of the most difficult questions of all: What should we do when our faith is weak? Christopher’s answer: Use your gifts to help others. God does not ask us to have a faith that is certain, but a service that is sure. God, the author and source of all reality, is neither angered not threatened by an honest agnosticism. There are, for every one of us, dark nights of the soul, silences of God, cold lonely seasons, bitter times when God’s appearances to us cannot be truly grasped or recognized. But if we faithfully help carry others, we will one day find ourselves before the person of Christ.

Lord Christ, when my faith is weak, help me to encounter you through the service of others.

Adapted from Ronald Rolheiser, OMI