Through faith, let us strive to be profitable servants of our loving Lord
Reflections on the readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (October 6, 2019): HAB 1:2-3;2:2-4; PS 95:1-2,6-7,8-9; 2 TIM 1:6-8,13-14; LK 17:5-10
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
In the Gospel for this first Sunday in the Extraordinary Mission Month of October, we hear Jesus proclaim to His disciples that if they have faith the size of a mustard seed they can do impossible things.
Faith is crucial for one who follows Christ. Through faith, we recognize that what seems impossible to us is always possible to God. Jesus then immediately goes on to tell the Parable of the Unprofitable Servant. Here we meet a servant who fills one task only to be told by his master to handle another. “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 are obliged to do’” (Luke 17:9-10). There is no question of thanking the servant who is simply doing what is expected of him. If we are really servants of Almighty God, we have no right to anticipate gratitude or reward for doing what He asks of us. As Christians, we often recall that Jesus talked about His followers as friends and children. This is true, but being adopted as God’s children and embraced as His friends is a divine gift – one we are incapable of earning on our own.
What we can do is rely on our Lord to enable us fulfill His perfect will and do whatever good He wants us to do. We who are born sinners should be grateful to serve Him. In God the Father we meet our Creator, in God the Son, our Redeemer, and in the Holy Spirit, our Counselor. God cherishes us and gives us everything we need, opening us to His grace and drawing us ever closer to Himself. Then our Lord will grant us His ultimate blessing to all who depend on His mercy and believe in His love. He will crown us with eternal life in His holy presence.
Suggested missionary action: Let us ask our Lord to help us understand our true role in the world. Let us pray to better appreciate that while our loving God has adopted us as His children, we are called to serve Him and assist our brothers and sisters with humility, gratitude and joy. And let us pray also that this Extraordinary Missionary Month help us to reach out more each day, in faith, to neighbor half a block and half a world away.