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Bulletin: October 2, 2022

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

We live in a society of instant gratification. We download and stream and binge-watch at our convenience; we use drive-throughs or have our food and groceries delivered. Wonderful things are indeed coming, but we must learn patience and humility! The Lord encourages Habakkuk to quit being impatient and wait for the vision to mature. Anyone who has started a fire knows how patient you must be to, as Paul admonishes, “Stir into flame the gift of God you have,” and to guard it well. Even in their good zeal, Jesus slows down the apostles. He equates faith to a mustard seed and tells them to settle down. As it takes that little seed many years to become a great tree, the Apostles and disciples must spend their time in service and grow in learning and love, and faith will come with it.


The last few weeks, we have seen Jesus speaking in parables that were long and complex, and sometimes it was difficult to find the point of his message. But today he speaks simply to the Apostles and gives them a graphic image that is very easy to grasp. Think of how many pictures you have seen with an open hand holding mustard seeds, or the image of the seeds and the grown tree. The thing is, those photos are worth a thousand words. One could call it the “elevator pitch” on faith. Jesus provides his followers with a touchstone to hold onto, a spiritual roadmap as it were. But along with that beloved parable is a more difficult message.


At some point, Jesus must just get exasperated with these folks. The Apostles and disciples have been following him for how long now? And they still don’t understand. The kingdom of God is not about how great you are on earth, or how much faith you have. There is much work to be done. He reminds them that they are still the folks who are going to be cooking dinner when they come home in the evening. They are the servants. Their work continues until the kitchen is clean! Similarly, it is not enough for us to simply show up to church on Sunday morning. We must be servants in our daily lives. On my computer screen is a yellow sticky note that says “If serving is below you, then leadership is above you.” Right now, “Servant Leadership” is a big buzzword phrase bordering on overuse, but there is a lot of truth to it. Some of the ways we may lead our families, our workgroups, our faith groups include: listening to others, showing empathy, healing yourself through work-life balance, developing your self-awareness, and being a good steward. Wrap it any way you want, it is all about being a good Christian. Have faith. Serve others. Watch it grow!

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