Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time 2 October 2022

Like the Apostles (first mention for some weeks), we, too, are battling along the road in our scriptural journey to Jerusalem. It is easy to imagine that the Apostles, the chosen ones, were a little querulous with all the responses that Jesus gave to the various groups we have been reading about these past few weeks. So, almost in exasperation, they ask the question, “How are we expected to carry out all these demands?” The least of which, omitted in today’s reading, “Even if he sins against you seven times a day, yet turns to you and says, ‘I repent’, forgive him.” We can all accept their response…“Give us faith!”

The demands voiced by Jesus are mounting.

Associated with those demands is the dawning that even if I accept these demands, I, too, may end up on a cross.

Yet still there is something very appealing in being in his company and so much truth in his words.

They still need a bit more faith to stick around.

Perhaps we do, too!

Jesus’ answer to their request is, in a sense, somewhat like the discovery Therese of Lisieux made in her lifetime. Like many things lost down the ages, namely, “Do all the little things well, indeed extra well.” That approach had been lost and its consequence was, leave the big-ticket items to those chosen by God to deliver.

So, in the context of Luke 17:1-19:

Avoid scandal,

Forgive seven times a day, or eight or nine,

Keep believing,

Have faith.

They must, of course, and we, too, avoid the self-justifying posture of the Scribes and Pharisees. They professed themselves to be defenders of the faith, of God’s Word. All the time they failed to fulfil its most basic demands. So, his word today, on this occasion, is not in the comfort basket but more in laying out the demands of disciples. Tough love this week.

Accept the fact that we are not all Brownlow Medallists, but unless there is a team of battlers, then the chosen ones can’t shine. Indeed “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”

If we keep trying, we will do more…

Mons Frank