Gospel Reflection for 27th Sunday Ordinary Time Year C – October 2nd 2016
The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith’.
The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea”, and it would obey you
‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty”.’
Luke 17: 5-19
The mustard seed image is that all faith looks weak but is strong –because faith links us in a flow with God who is strong. God makes strong faith out of weakness. People often find that at bad times they recover some faith. We are born with seeds of faith, all of us.
Faith grows in us, no matter what the faith we belong to. Seeds all look the same. This daffodil bulb looks like many bulbs. Then they grow and the bulb looks more like what it will become. Faith grows in different groups and situations.
It is something strong. It can mean people will die for it. It may not be seen but is there.
In our communities of faith, faith grows. But faith is there before the church! We are born into faith and baptised into the church.
Faith grows within our church community. In prayer, in the parish and school, in the family. School can do little for religion if it is not in the home. Like the bulb it can be nourished or die. Even a light bulb needs to be turned on.
Big questions or bad times in life can nourish our faith if we turn to God. Like the daffodil bulb needs manure to nourish it, our faith can be nourished by what seems weak or even bad in life. Addiction or loss and illness can bring a person close to God
Today is the day for life, and we are looking at life in its challenging times: how we respect life in its first stages, and its last. Early life and late life challenges faith. Help us Lord as a nation and as individuals to really respect life.
Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger