Friday, October 5, 2007

Sunday, October 7 ~ Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 17: 5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" And the Lord said, "If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, `Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. "Will any one of you, who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, `Come at once and sit down at table'? Will he not rather say to him, `Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink'? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, `We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'"

Personal Reflection

We all wish to hear those words, "Well done, good and faithful servant." We are called to be saints, but do we really believe that? Sometimes saints seem so holy that the status is unattainable, but we are each truly called to sainthood. How does one become a saint? We do what is expected of us. Like the servant in the Gospel above, we do what is expected, and we are not expected to perform miracles.

True, the Church has chosen to recognize those saints whose holiness has been exceptional in some way in the canonization process, but all that means is that the Church is certain the person is in Heaven. Holy Mother Church blesses us by choosing verifiable saints to set as examples for our lives today. Some are exceptional, but those are the ones we remember the most. If you really look closely, most are pretty normal, like us. If we get to Heaven, we will be saints, regardless of whether or not the Church canonizes us.

So, let us go back to the Gospel. How do we please God? We do our duty. What is my duty? Do I embrace my daily tasks as conduits of holiness? Or do I wish my life was different in some way, so I could be holier? How do I fulfill my obligations in a way that glorifies God? Do I need to reevaluate my attitude towards my call to holiness? Do I view sainthood as unattainable? Can I imagine growing holier as my life continues? How?

Is my faith at least as large as a mustard seed? Do I berate myself when my faith is not stronger? How can I trust simply in the Lord and be satisfied with my faithfulness? Do I truly believe I can "move mountains" with my meager faith? Or am I stuck in our culture's obsession that it might not be quite good enough? When will it ever be enough? How can I recognize my faith for the simple gift from God that it is and be content to merely uproot sycamine trees and replant them in the ocean?

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