Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary 142. 27th Sunday, C. Habakuk 1:2-3.2:2-4. Psalm
95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9. II Timothy 1:6-8.13-14. Luke 17:5-10.
Faith and good works is a theme we deal with in dialoguing with each other.
The over-used expression both...and seems to be one of the ways a Catholic
holds onto certain teachings of the Church and also is a sort of easy
apologetic for our Catholic way of thinking. The Scriptures themselves
offer alternatives to our thinking and it is good for us to ponder over the
contrary interpretations that we hear. It seems that the apostles
themselves struggled the same way we do. Today, they ask Jesus to help them
grow in their faith. Jesus as a Jewish sage offers imagery through his
metaphors and parables to help them realize how they can be involved in the
process of increasing their faith. Their belief in Jesus is there. They
accept him as their personal Savior but sense they need more faith. Jesus
tells them they do and that certain attitudes and conversions of their way
of thinking about faith has to change.
Jesus offers the example of the power of faith when it is what he intends
it to be in us. We can uproot plants or trees and have them grow even in
the water of a river or lake. He continues to describe our faith as it
starts like a mustard seed. Naturally it needs to grow to be productive.
We all want to be fortes in fide--strong in our faith convictions and
commitments to Jesus. From mustard seeds and sycamore trees he passes over
to the lesson to be learned by those who are servants of the Lord. They
must always consider themselves as the workers of the Lord, his servants
and as such have no extraordinary desires to have the Lord serve us. We are
to serve him through our growing and deepening in faith and trust in him.
A dramatic transformation can happen once we are obedient servants of the
Lord who do the serving. Even though Jesus has come not to be served but
to serve, we must follow the example he has given us if we wish to pass
from servanthood to deep friendship with the Lord. We are to become his
brothers and sisters through our faith. We become part of his family of
believers. Our humble response has to start with this response that Jesus
himself gives us, "We are useless servants. We have done no more than our
Wonders do happen when we start this way in our faith life. Even the most
tepid of churches in the Apocalypse heard this from Jesus: " Here I stand,
knocking at the door. If anyone hears me calling and opens the door, I will
enter his house and have supper with him and he with me. I will give the
victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself won the victory
and took my seat beside my Father on his throne. Let him who has ears,
heed the Spirit's word to the churches." Amen.
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