Genesis 17:1, 9-11, 15-22 / Matthew 8:1-4
To have faith is a serious matter, to say the least. Because faith is a gift from God and we must take this gift seriously and use it in the way that God wants it.
And it takes a lot of faith to pray and to believe that God is listening to our prayer and that He will answer that prayer.
But when God answers that prayer of ours, we sometimes may think that God has a sense of humour and we may think it is some kind of joke. It's like God is telling us a joke and only He is laughing and we are left bewildered.
In the 1st reading, we heard that Abram was 99 years-old and Sara was 90 years-old, and he was still waiting for that son that God had promised him.
So when God told him that Sara will bear a son, Abraham bowed to the ground and he laughed. Probably he didn't dare to laugh in front of God, but he laughed at what God said. He thought it was a joke, and he laughed at the absurdity of it.
And after waiting for so long, it can be said that Abraham had enough faith to be able to laugh.
But for the leper in the gospel, his faith in the ability of Jesus to cure is no laughing matter.
The people were certainly not laughing at him. In fact they could have stoned him for coming into their midst with that dreadful disease. But that leper had the last laugh when he was cured by Jesus.
Both Abraham and the leper had faith and to them it was a serious matter. But when their prayers were answered, it was faith that enable them to see the wonder of God's plan and the response was certainly a joyful laughter.
So let us keep the faith and keep praying that we will be able to see how God answers our prayers. And when we see our prayers answers, let us laugh and laugh joyfully.