A common thread of today’s readings is that the Lord’s disciples, old and new, are looking for more of what they need in order to fulfill their mission, perhaps discouraged by a lack of immediate results. Habakkuk in the First Reading is lamenting the injustice he sees and unanswered prayers for the Lord to do something about it. Timothy receives a letter of encouragement from his mentor Paul, who is in prison, to be brave and re-stoke the flame of zeal that he received at ordination; Timothy has big shoes to fill, and Paul whom he esteems greatly, is now in prison. The disciples ask for more faith and Our Lord responses that even a little faith would go a long way; the apostles are asking for more faith because the little faith they have doesn’t seem to be enough to do their job.
It’s the parable that follows where Our Lord puts things into perspective. The servant doesn’t expect some special reward for just doing his job; he just does it. Faith is our action and our struggle and it is only with prayer and effort that it grows. Our Lord invites us today to focus on our mission, not the imagined resources we may be lacking. Habakkuk is told to write down his prophecies and thanks to that we now have them. Timothy is told to be a good shepherd of souls and the Church, thanks to him, continued to grow. The apostles are told to do their duty expecting nothing but the satisfaction of a job well done, and we all have the apostles to thank for receiving the faith. The prophecies were fulfilled in Christ and the Gospel has triumphed in so many lives and will continue to do so.
Whatever your state of life–laity, consecrated, ordained–focus on how you can best serve Our Lord right here, right now, with the resources, spiritual and material, that you have at your disposal and Our Lord will ensure that you succeed.
Readings: Habakkuk 1:2–3, 2:2–4; Psalm 95:1–2, 6–9; 2 Timothy 1:6–8, 13–14; Luke 17:5–10. See also 32nd Week in Ordinary Time, Tuesday.