Gospel Reflections

27th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 17:5-10

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Victorine Mansanga

Published: October 06, 2019


 Today’s Gospel begins with the request of the disciples: “Lord, increase our faith.”  Nevertheless, Jesus does not respond clearly to their request.  On the contrary, he formulates his answer by means of two lessons on faith.
 
The first lesson states that if the disciples have faith the size of a mustard seed, they will be capable of uprooting a large tree and planting it in the sea.  This comparison shows the greatness, power and importance of faith.  By means of this lesson, Jesus teaches his disciples that they need a firm faith so as to accomplish great things such as causing a tree to be uprooted and crash into the sea.  

In asking Jesus to strengthen their faith, the apostles are aware that their faith is small and weak.  In addition, they know that of themselves, they are incapable of accomplishing all that Jesus asks of them in the verses which precede this passage from the Gospel.  They understood that they need the help of Jesus.  This justifies their request to increase their faith.  Indeed, Jesus had reproached these apostles a number of times for their lack of faith.  To Simon Peter, for example, who cried out for help when Jesus ordered him to walk on water, Jesus said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” To Thomas who doubted the resurrection he said, “Blessed are those who believe without having seen.”  

In our lives, it may happen that we lose faith and doubt when we experience hard times.  Let us reflect for a moment about the events which may cause us to lose faith in our lives.  Did we have the courage to ask Jesus to increase our faith?  Or do we stay in our own valley of sadness? Today Jesus teaches us an important lesson about faith.  Let us have the courage to rely on him in all the situations which shake our faith and say to him with confidence: “Lord, I believe; please increase my faith.”

Evidently it is easy to say these beautiful words when all is going well in our lives.  I remember a mother who had lost her daughter and only child.  As usual, we tried to surround her with our beautiful words of encouragement.  However, she rejected them more and more.  She asked why God had taken her daughter, the only child which God had given her. How do we understand the reaction of the mother?  For me, the mother’s revolt does not mean that she does not believe in God, but it is the death of her only daughter which weakened her faith.  This is why our faith must be strong to hold fast when we are shaken.  

In the second lesson Jesus exhorts the disciples to be humble and to consider themselves as useless servants after having accomplished an important task and not to expect rewards.  In addition, he teaches them gratitude and respect for all those who work for them and render service.  This makes me think and ask how I act in relation to this teaching.  

Am I humble and respectful in my dealings with those who serve us?  
 


 

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