Luke combines two parables in todays Gospel, that of the mustard seed and that of the useless servants. The former is perhaps the better subject for a homily because its meaning is clearer. However, the second is deeper and richer. There is no such thing as a little faith any more than there is a little pregnancy.
Faith is an overwhelming power no matter how weak it may seem. Given half a chance it will take over and direct our lives, comforting us when we are discouraged and challenging us when we are complacent. The second parable is at first glance hard to reconcile with Jesuss claim that his apostles are friends, not servants in St. Johns Gospel. Perhaps he is being ironic here: you cant earn my love, its already given to you. Respond to my love with love of your own, but dont run around trying to impress me with how diligent you are.
Once upon a time it was a mothers fiftieth birthday (oh, horror of horrors!). Her children who loved her very much were determined to make the birthday party truly spectacular. The rented a hall, hired an orchestra, invited a huge crowd, and ordered dinner from the best caterer in the neighborhood. Each one of them presented a little speech about how wonderful their mother was. So hard did they work to make the party a complete success that they wore themselves and bickered through the whole evening.
Each one tried to outdo the others in professing love for their wonderful mother. The mother cried through the whole party she was so happy. Well, said her husband, after it was all over, now you know how much your children love you. Oh, she said, with a sigh, I knew that all along. They didnt have to prove it to me. Im very grateful to them. Still, wouldnt it have been much nicer if was only you and me and them sitting around a table and enjoying ourselves and the love we all have for one another.
1 O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a
joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
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