Today’s Gospel: Luke 17:1-6 – St. Frances Xavier Cabrini
Jesus doesn’t mince any words in today’s Gospel passage. He talks about sin being an inevitable part of life, with its causes and effects touching every one of us. No one is immune, and all must show mercy and forgiveness to their brothers and sisters. The apostles rightly ask for their faith to be increased upon hearing His words, yet Jesus uses the unlikely mustard seed as a measurement of the amount of faith needed to do what is required. My guess is that they were shaking their heads in wonderment after hearing this parable, trying to figure out how they were going to live up to what Jesus was expecting of them. I know I do sometimes after hearing this Gospel proclaimed. It just seems so hard, especially in today’s world.
However, if you take a closer look at what Jesus is saying, it would seem that faith and forgiveness go hand in hand. Without the former, the latter is certainly impossible to achieve. As Catholic Christians we’re not to give up on family, friends, or even acquaintances if they do us wrong – we should give them lots of leeway (and perhaps many years of therapy) before we might finally throw in the towel. Jesus wants to us have faith not only in them but in our ability to love them even when they appear to become unlovable. Only then can we learn to ask forgiveness for our own transgressions and have faith that others will accept and love us in return.
Our God is truly a God of second chances. May we have the faith to forgive as many times as necessary and truly reflect the love and mercy Jesus extends to all of us…every day…always…no matter what.
Loving God, increase my faith not only in myself but in all those who touch my life. Help me to forgive others and myself as completely as You forgive me.
Do you have as much faith in yourself as you have in others? More? Less?
Copyright 2017 Joanne Mercier
Joanne Mercier currently serves as a Pastoral Associate for the Cranberry Catholic Collaborative in the Archdiocese of Boston. Married for 34 years to her husband, Kevin, she is an avid baseball fan (Red Sox, of course), a genealogy enthusiast, a self-proclaimed gadget queen and host/moderator of the Monday Morning Catholic podcast (mondaymorningcatholic.net). Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
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