It is easy to assert that one has faith. We make expressions of our faith quite easily, whether it be in our recitation of the Creed at Mass each week or otherwise.
It is also easy to look at situations where the faith of others is tested and express confidence that we would have fared better in their situation – that we wouldn’t have doubts if we were in their place. Our faith, after all, is so strong.
I think that is the attitude with which we read passages like today’s Gospel from St. Matthew. The disciples are in a boat on the sea with Jesus when a storm comes upon them. And they are terrified. When we hear Jesus chide them for their lack of sufficient faith, it is easy to be self-satisfied and look with smug superiority at the disciples. We (we are confident) would not have been terrorized by the storm; we would have had more faith.
But as we go about our everyday lives, our faith is not tested all that often. And we don’t know how well we would react if it were.
Ultimately, faith is not measured by how well or how often we profess it with our words. It is about our ability to live lives that reflect our faith – in easy times and in tough ones.
May we all grow in faith, praying in the words of the man who came to Jesus for healing of his son, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”