Homily October 6, 2013 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel begins with the Apostles asking for an increase of faith. Jesus however, replies with the story of the Mustard seed. We learn that very little faith is required to perform great tasks. Each of us is really an image of the tiniest of seeds in the scheme of salvation. Our faith is a relationship which like that seed will grow if we nurture it and enable it to grow. From the very small beginnings of our faith, a whole life lies before us, a life of service and witness. Faith is not some grandiose thing that manifests some life changing event or gathers multitudes of people, but rather is a daily day-to-day existence of following out Christ’s commands. It is choosing and doing the right thing and following through regardless of what others think or do. It is challenging because doing the convenient thing can be so easy while doing the right thing can be hard, even isolating and lonely. Today’s parable might seem cruel that the servant serves first in the fields and then in the kitchen and gets rest only when the Master is finished.
So it is for us. Do any of us expect a servant to do anything other than to serve. He only is doing what is expected what he is paid to do. If we contract for work to be done, do we give a reward for its completion if we have paid to have it done. So it is with faith. That gift has been given us and with it much is given to us to look out and care for us. Certainly we see so much in the world as violence, poverty, sickness and all the other things we pray about. It certainly is not wrong to pray for these things, and in our own way by our faith and witness we can reach out and make a difference. But, I ask you, did not these things exist in Jesus’ time. Did He try to reach out and change these things? Didn’t he rather address individuals as he met them and spoke of faith and relationships. So the important thing would seem to be in meeting and sharing our faith with those we meet. It becomes for us the day-to-day dictum of doing the right thing. The results are in God’s hands. How often does the planter of the tree get to see the full-grown tree? We are called to be faithful servants and do the work of God. No servant is greater than his master, and the reward our master received was death on a cross. Our reward will come not now but when our service has ended and we are called. The judgment will be whether we have been faithful and consistent in the here and now, in the day-to-day. Our profit, our worthiness is that we have done what we were supposed to do.