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Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus had probably shocked his disciples by the severe warnings about leading others astray and by his insistence that there was no limit to forgiveness (Luke 17:1-4). The disciples reacted by asking to have their faith increased, as though this virtue could be refilled like a jug of water! Jesus retorted by saying that even faith the size of a mustard seed could work wonders. He himself was overwhelmed by the faith of the pagan centurion (Matt. 8:10) and the Syro-Phoenecian woman (Mark 7:27-29) and was able to work miracles for them.

The servant described by Jesus was obviously a man of all work as, having laboured hard in the fields, he was expected to serve the master at table even though he himself might be tired and hungry. The example given by Our Lord tells us that we too are servants and God owes us nothing. There can be a tendency to think that God should commend us when we perform a good deed. However, we have a loving parent in God; and, in a family, parents and children do not expect gratitude when they care for one another. We should also remember that it was Christ himself who became the suffering servant out of his love for humanity.

When I survey the wondrous cross
on which the Prince of Glory died,
My richest gain I count as nought
and pour contempt on all my pride.

- Isaac Watts