The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home –
October 2, 2021 – 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Luke 17:5-10
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Recently I received one of those uninvited emails which caught my eye, especially since I am living in my retirement years. It asked me (and who knows how many others) how much money do you need in your possession to retire with peace and happiness, without fears or worries. Given the tenor of our times, it’s a question many, no doubt, struggle with. They want a number. A specific one. A sum that will put their worries and concerns to rest. And guarantee a wonderful future without financially related fears. I’m not going to share the figure that was given because for some, it would be too much, and for others too little. Besides, everyone knows that the so-called science of economics is mostly speculative and filled with much more opinion than with hard science. Still, economic concerns capture our attention. It’s a large part of the times we live in.
Now to today’s gospel. The disciples of Jesus were worried about a similar concern in their lives.
Besides, everyone knows that the so-called science of economics is mostly speculative and filled with much more opinion than with hard science. Still, economic concerns capture our attention. It’s a large part of the times we live in.
Now to today’s gospel. The disciples of Jesus were worried about a similar concern in their lives. They came to realize that the demands that Jesus put forth were immense. To embody them fully, they would need not only a generous spirit, but a willingness to accept his great challenge. And most of all, they assumed that they would need a lot of faith in Jesus and in the message that he had delivered to them.
So, they came to him requesting that they receive a greater abundance of faith, whatever that might mean. They wanted more from him, from God, as they might not have trusted themselves for making the journey ahead.
Jesus knew of their weakness but also their strength. He responded that if they possessed even a tiny bit of faith, real 100% faith, it would be sufficient. If you want a precise amount, he added, think of the tiniest seed there is, the mustard seed, and you would have some idea of the amount you need. To borrow from a saying I learned long ago, a little goes a long way.
Some day we will realize how much of all that is, including your life and mine, depends on God’s presence and power. And God’s love for all of us in abundance. Of course, we need to trust in that love, which we can think of as the true source of our wealth. And survival. This may sound overly idealistic in a world that puts so much emphasis on financial resources to bring us security and happiness. Yet, if we want to lessen our fears about the future, maybe reliance on God’s power and support may bring us more peace than we imagine.
©David M. Thomas, Ph