10/2/2022 (Sunday) Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 17:5-10
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
6 The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
7 “Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?
8 Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’?
9 Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
10 So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”
10/2/2022 (Sunday) Today’s Gospel Reflection: Luke 17:5-10
The gospel reading above follows immediately the commandment of Jesus to His disciples to watch themselves not to be the cause of others to stumble. Otherwise, it is better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck (Luke 17:2). He also asked them to forgive their brothers and sisters as many times as they commit sin and repent (Luke 17:3-4). Previously, Jesus told them to love their enemies and to turn the other cheek when they are slapped on one cheek! It is also on record that He told them that they must take up their cross, deny themselves, even “hate” their family, and to be perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect. Like us today, the disciples of Jesus may have thought that these commands of Jesus are humanly impossible.
So, in verse 5 above, the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. They thought they don’t have “great faith” to follow all of their master’s commandments. Jesus’ answer to them is very instructive. “If you have the faith the size of the mustard seed…”, He told them. Jesus was in fact telling them that they do not need “great faith”. Just a small faith in God and God can do great things through them.
Then Jesus goes on to tell them the parable of the master and the “unworthy servant”, a story found only in Luke. At first glance, there seems to be no connection to the topic on faith yet on closer look, it is reasonable to see that they are indeed related. When the disciples asked for more faith, Jesus told them to focus instead on being a servant. This is a lesson in obedience and humility. When things seems impossible to understand and more impossible to accomplish, let us focus on doing our duties as servants of the Lord and to fully trust in Him who is the true source of wisdom and power. As servants, let us focus on our mission of “plowing the field or tending the sheep”, that is, evangelizing the world and taking care of people and let God gets all the glory He deserves. The truth is, He alone can move the mulberry tree and plant it in the sea.