Tit 1,1-9 / Lk 17,1-6
Jesus said to his disciples, “Things that cause sin will inevitably occur, but woe to the person through whom they occur. It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
IN OTHER WORDS
Jesus is giving two important lessons to his disciples in the first part of today’s gospel text. One has something to do with sin-avoiding, and the other, forgiving. Looking closely, I see these as two imperatives in following Jesus; imperatives that, experience tells us, are difficult to follow and put into practice. Awareness of these imperatives provides us a background and context for the second part of the text, “Increase our faith.” The disciples realize the magnitude of the lessons. They need a strong faith in order to face the challenges that come with discipleship. They need a strong faith in order to succeed in doing what Jesus tells them to do.
It is one of my convictions that when faced with temptations or when burdened with a hardened heart that cannot forgive, one needs to turn to God in prayer. Turning to God in prayer is both a realization and a recognition; a realization that as human I am weak and a recognition that with God I become strong. Turning to God therefore is nothing less than praying, “Increase our faith.” It is faith that makes us hold on to God with whom nothing is impossible. It is through faith that God empowers us to do the impossible.
- Fr. Dudz F. Lero, SVD | Holy Name University, Tagbilaran City
The Word in other words 2016
An annual project of Logos Publications, The WORD in Other Words Bible Diary contains daily scripture readings and reflections written by priest, brothers, and sisters of the three congregations founded by St. Arnold Janssen (the SVD, SSpS, and SSpSAP). It hopes to serve as a daily companion to readers who continually seek the correlation of the Word of God and human experience.