October 6th, 2019

XXVII Sunday of Ordinary Time

Year C

Authentic faith does not make us do extraordinary things, like uprooting mulberries, but it makes us live the most ordinary services in the right way.

Hab 1:2-3; 2,2-4; Ps 94 (95); 2Tim 1:6-8.13-14; Lk 17:5-10

“The righteous will live by his faith”, says Habakkuk; and true faith, Jesus reminds us, does not only make us do xtraordinary things, such as uprooting a mulberry tree to plant it in the sea, but allows us to live ordinary commitments with the right attitude—like those servants who know how to recognize themselves as “useless”, that is, simple servants, who do what they have to do. The image of the master is here very harsh. In another passage Luke shows him differently: the master himself will go to serve the servants who have been able to wait for him (cf. Lk 12: 37-38). Today, Luca, beyond speaking of the attitude of the master, intends to reveal to us what the attitude of servants should be. Only by accepting that one’s service does not confer merit or rights, can the servants taste the gratuitousness of God. Recognizing we are undeserving servants means discovering the God of gratuitousness, whose generosity exceeds our limits. In the parable, all this is expressed in a negative form: God owes nothing to anyone. On the positive side it means that all that he gives does so freely, because he is good (cf. Mt 20:15). Breaking the logic of reward and opening it up to gratuitousness, also opens up the relationship of mutual trust. The servant does not make claims for his work and the master does not condition his trust to what the servant will do. He does not say: if you behave well, I will reward you. It simply tells him: do what you have to do because I trust you.

Commentary by Comunità di Dumenza

Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey

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