Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4
The patience of the just man shall be rewarded when he sees the vision fulfilled.
Sing joyfully to God, our salvation.
2 Timothy 1:6-8,13-14
Paul urges Timothy to remain strong in the Spirit of faith Timothy received.
Jesus teaches the apostles the importance of faith and service to God.
Gospel LK 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.'”
Background on the Gospel Reading
In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus teach about faith and service to God. The context is a continuing dialogue between Jesus and his followers about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus has just finished an instruction on sin and forgiveness. There are two related teachings that Jesus offers to his disciples when they cry out for an increase in faith. The first is the familiar reminder that faith, even just a little, will enable the followers of Jesus to do wondrous things. But this uplifting and inspiring teaching is quickly followed by the second teaching, a caution about knowing one’s place in God’s plans. The disciples of Jesus are to understand themselves as servants to God and his plans. Even when God works wonders through us, with our mustard seed-sized faith, we must not seek praise. Our participation in God’s plans is God’s grace to us—nothing more, nothing less. When we are graced enough to cooperate with God, the work we do is nothing more than our obligation to God as faithful stewards. And yet, our faith enables us to believe that what we have offered in service to God, as his servants, can be made to produce a hundredfold.
There is much in today’s Gospel that resonates in family life. In our daily attempts as parents to live up to the confidence and trust that our children place in us, we come to know the wonders that God can do with just a little faith. In family life we also learn about obligations that are their own rewards. The daily tasks that family members do for one another and for the household are simply the manifestations of our responsibilities to one another.
Take a turn with each member of the family and identify some of the little things that each family member does that make a big difference in your family life.
Read today’s Gospel, Luke 17:5-10. Talk about how each person is called upon by God to believe that God can work miracles in our lives, that God can use us to make a difference in our world.
Together as a family, pray Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Prayer of Generosity. Ask that God will work through your family to make a difference in the lives of those around you.
Sources: Loyola Press; Sunday Readings