October 6, 2013

The Gospel Today

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 17: 5-10 

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
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.

“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’?
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’?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
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.'”

Reflection (Sem. Enrico Terrel):

A glass with half-filled water is a good exercise of checking one’s perspective in life. There are two ways of looking at it such as one may look at the glass as half full while another might look at it as half empty. It is just a matter of perspective. Nevertheless, the way we look at things manifests our attitude in life. Given the culture of our world today that emphasizes perfection, productivity, and profitability, it is no wonder that we are more or less trained to look at things in the aspect of what is lacking and what more can be done.

In the Gospel narrative, the apostles said to Jesus, “Increase our faith”. Given such line, it is self evident that the apostles recognized the fact that their faith is lacking and Christ is the only one who can further strengthen their faith. However, it is also good to note the response of Christ which is, “If you have the 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.” The words of the Lord remind us that we should not focus our attention on what is lacking on our faith and what is lacking in us. Rather, we should direct our attention, faculties and energies on Christ who is the core of our faith. If Christ was able to feed a multitude out of a few pieces of bread and fish, He can certainly make great miracles with us, in us and through us regardless of the size of our faith. What truly matters is not the quantity of what we believe but it is all about who we believe in. Having faith in Christ does not guarantee us a life devoid of problems, struggles and anxieties. On the contrary, it is through the problems, struggles and anxieties of life that our faith in Christ would be tested, purified and fortified. The greater is the struggle in life, the greater is the opportunity for us to discover how great, dependable and trustworthy our God is. All we need to do is to stop worrying and start believing in God who is always loving us and working for us.

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