Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint 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.'”
Peace to all my brothers and sisters listening in today
Stretching. Rain and drought. Shake and Break
1) Stretching. The disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. This was probably because while they believed in Him they sometimes did not fully trust in him or perhaps even doubted His ability or power. In reality they did not fully understand Him and thus did not have a mature faith yet. Sometimes an event or an experience causes us to question Jesus’ action or inaction in our life and reveals how weak our trust in Him really is. We are confused when God allows something to happen that we don’t like. The first moment that something doesn’t go the way we want, we can wonder if God even notices our struggle and frustration. While we continue to believe, our unconditional trust in Jesus is challenged, especially if we have been wronged or hurt. We don’t understand how a God who loves us so much could allow such a wrong to happen to us. We can even lose faith when God doesn’t act as fast or in the manner we want, allowing the unjust to go unpunished.
In fact however it is precisely these very moments which stretch our faith. Our trust in God often grows and deepens when its challenged and learn how to patiently wait. Searching for God in the dark and waiting for Him to respond is itself part of the growth, because it calls us to experience what we are without God and challenges us to live by faith, to trust God enough to live life on God’s terms and admit the powerlessness of our own human limitations.
2) Rain and drought. A quick story might help illustrate the point. A poor farmer plants seeds by first ploughing the field, and breaking through the hard crusty surface of the ground in order to expose the softer richer and fertile soil beneath. He then plants his seed and prays for rain in order for the little roots to sprout. The farmer then does something unexpected, he prays for a drought in order that the roots be forced to grow deeper in search of water. In this way the plants are provided with a strong foundation and therefore can grow tall and strong.
3) Shake and break. This is what God does with us. He allows difficulties to shake and break through our hardness of heart. We are then capable of receiving his word within us. Once the roots sprout up however God allows a dry period which forces us to dig deeper in search of Him and thus ground ourselves more solidly in His love. God wants us to grow straight and tall but we cannot do so unless we are firmly rooted in him. Like the seed, it is in groping in the darkness in search of Him, which teaches us the truth that we are nothing without him, in fact we are but worthless servants. In this way we learn the lesson of how to trust in God and humbly depend on him alone as our foundation.
May God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Always Remember Heaven is our goal