Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: Bulletin Column


“The Mustard Seed,” Sketch from 2016, Ronald Raab, CSC

October 6, 2019

Dear Followers of Jesus,

In today’s gospel from Luke 17:5-10, we hear the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith. I can imagine they were willing to receive even more than what they were experiencing. In following Jesus, their eyes were opened to the needs of people as Jesus touched the eyes of a blind man or ran after the lost sinner. They wanted desperately what he had. They wanted to ensure him that they had received the beauty of their calling.

We all desire Jesus. We all desire to follow at his invitation. So often we feel let down by our awkward unwillingness to put into practice what we desire. We know what we should do and who we should become, yet we do not participate in such grace. So we ask exactly what the disciples requested, “Increase our faith.”

Jesus reminded them that faith the size of a mustard seed is all you need. He tells the apostles that trees can be uprooted and planted into the sea if only we could really believe in the goodness of God and the richness of our calling. Today, Jesus reminds us of the same circumstances. We are in relationship with the Divine. What more could we possibly need than to rest in such faith and hope for our lives and our own outreach to people.

Faith is so unknown to us. Sometimes we think faith is showing up to church on Sunday or memorizing the Catholic catechism. We may ponder the meaning of faith and think we have it all figured out. We have it and others don’t. We live it and the outsiders can’t possibly have it. Yet real faith is nothing of these externals. Faith is a rich, profound relationship with God and our willingness to put our enter lives into the hands and wisdom of Christ Jesus.

Our faith is not something we accumulate. Faith, as it is lived, is revealed to us mostly when we let go of so much in our own human lives, when we let go of our plans, our bloated egos, and even our human attachments. Faith is a relationship that changes our attitudes toward what we own, how we use our resources, and how we live in relationship with people. Faith is not static; it is an ever-deepening awareness that we need God. Faith comes to us to move mountains and to open our hearts to God’s healing mercy, forgiveness and love. Faith is relationship with Divine love through prayer, attentiveness and reflection. Faith is a life full of grace and a heart willing to love in new and unbounded ways. Faith opens doors to people who most need the basics of life. Faith creates community and sustains our relationships. Faith is lived at tables and workplaces. Faith invites us into prayer and into service.

In today’s second reading from Timothy, we also hear that faith is strong and it is not a spirit of cowardice, but a conviction of love and hope. We don’t have to worry if we don’t have enough. Faith is not a commodity. Faith is simply a relationship with divine love and we wait for our hearts to be ablaze with such passion.

Blessings to you,

Fr. Ron










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