27th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C - 2/10/2022 - Gospel: Luke 17: 5-10
Love And Trust
The reading has two parts: part one is about the power of faith, and part two is about the responsibility of Jesus' disciples. Having faith in Jesus means loving and trusting him. Love and trust belong to the invisible sphere, and what is unseeable is unmeasurable and unscaleable. It is rather hard to talk about love and trust in terms of their quality or quantity, because the metric of love and trust is the language of one's heart. It is the same for faith. We can't describe faith in terms of its quality or quantity, but rather to have a strong or weak faith. Faith in this sense is manifested through the love and service we have for others. In following Jesus, the disciples recognised the challenges of the new way of life. They asked Jesus to increase their faith in Him, in the hope that they would be able to be faithful to the call. His reply was less about the quality of faith but more about the power of faith. He told them that with a tiny faith they have, they can do amazing things beyond their expectation. Jesus told them that by having faith in Him, everything is possible. Something is impossible for us, but for God everything is possible. When Jesus' disciples achieve any great thing, they know that they are not doing it alone, but rather the power of faith in Jesus working through them. God will do great things in a person who trusts and loves God, even when his faith is not great. Faithful disciples are the ones who live and move with God and depend on God in this life and the eternal life to come. We depend on God so much, apart from giving thanks to God, we have nothing to be proud of or claim for.

The second part of the Gospel talks about the duty of Jesus' disciples. Jesus employed the image of a worker whose duty is to work both in a field and domestic work, and that is His expectation of him. At the spiritual level, the image reminds us that each of us is being sent to be witnesses for Jesus by serving others. This kind of work needs to be done in a prayerful spirit, because without constant prayer to care for our inner life, the good work we do for others may become a source of self- praise. This self- gratification is dangerous because it opens the door widely for pride to creep in. The evidence is the feeling that one deserves to be praised for, and acknowledged for the good work has done. Jesus reminds his disciples that they have nothing to be proud of because they just simply do their job.

In reality, a good reward is in the job itself. When a worker works with love, that person enjoys the work and may gain some insight into doing the work. The greatest satisfaction in doing the work is the completion of the work on time. There is a sense of relief, relaxation, and freedom from pressure. It is a greater reward and a feeling of self-worth and achievement.

Jesus' disciples also know that they are not doing the work alone but do it with Jesus. He is the power and force that strengthens them in their work. He is the mind and heart of the work. They thank him for trusting and asking them to take part in his plan of salvation. When we see that God is the power and strength and wisdom in our work then we would never claim any credit for the work, but rather give thanks to God. We also acknowledge that giving thanks to God is a gift itself (Common preface IV). Because there is no credit gained, then there will be no reward. We help others not because our faith is strong but rather because acts of charity may strengthen our faith in God.