Weekly Church Service – Pentecost 17: 6 October 2019

‘Who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? But I am among you,’ says the Lord, ‘as one who serves.’ Luke 22:27                                                              

Faithful God,
have mercy on us your unworthy servants,
and increase our faith,
that, trusting in your Spirit’s power to work in us
and through us,
we may never be ashamed to witness to our 
Lord but may obediently serve him all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy 
Spirit, one God, now and for everAmen.

  • Lamentations 1:1-6
  • Psalm 137
  • 2 Tim 1:1-14
  • Luke 17:5-10

next week

  • Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
  • Psalm 66:1-11
  • 2 Tim 2:8-15
  • Luke 17:11-19

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
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 . . .
“When you have done all you have been commanded, say ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we are obliged to do.’”

Faith is not something that is won, bought or earned.  Faith only becomes genuine in our lives when we realize in all humility that faith is a gift freely given by God.  The two images in today’s Gospel point to this mystery of faith:

The gift of faith is like the mustard seed, among the tiniest of seeds.  The seed of faith needs to be nurtured or else it will wither and die; but allowed to grow, it yields the greatest of harvests.

In the light of real faith, we realize our total dependence on the providence of God.  To God’s graciousness we owe everything.  We recognize ourselves as God’s “useless servants,” deserving nothing by our own account.  The only adequate response we can make to God’s unfathomable and immeasurable goodness is to live lives of joyful gratitude and humble servanthood.

Mustard-seed faith enables us to do many more important things than uprooting mulberry trees.  Such faith is the unshakable conviction that every ordinary act of selfless kindness can re-create and transform; that the smallest act of forgiveness can lift up and heal; that the simplest act of compassion, done in faith and trust in God’s providence, can transform our world in the justice and peace of God.  

Faith begins with the gratitude and humility of the servant in today’s Gospel: to realize that the gift of faith requires justice, compassion and forgiveness; to realize, in the light of God’s love, how blessed we have been and to see ourselves and others as brother and sister “servants” at the table of the Father.                                    © Connections/MediaWorks

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