When I was in seminary, we spent a large portion of one of our scripture classes discussing the “hard sayings of Jesus.” These are the passages of scripture that can be different to interpret: either because Jesus is using such great hyperbole that the meaning is unclear, or because the teaching is very difficult to process.
When it comes to hard sayings, Jesus’ words to the apostles in today’s reading certainly fit that bill! When asked by the apostles to “increase our faith,” Jesus gives a very cryptic answer about faith the size of a mustard seed. It almost seems as if Jesus is chastising the apostles for their lack of faith! At the end of the passage, Jesus tells the apostles to consider themselves to be “worthless slaves” (other translations say unprofitable servants), who have done what they were obliged to do.
Both of these statements can leave us scratching our head. However, they begin to make a bit more sense if we understand the context in which Jesus is speaking. According to many scripture scholars, Jesus’ words about faith the size of a mustard seed should be viewed as a call to action: a call to live out our faith in the world. We do this by becoming a servant for others and learning to put the needs of others ahead of our own wants and desires. This way of living is radically different from the sense of entitlement and instant gratification that pervades our society today. When we do things without expecting to be rewarded in return, it changes everything about how we live the Gospel.
With that said, however, there are times when it is necessary to acknowledge the good work of others, and to give them praise for a job well done. Our Family of Parishes Festival this past weekend is a prime example of this. And so, I want to take this opportunity to thank Jean Beneteau, and all the members of the festival committee, for their hard work over these past few weeks. I also want to thank all the volunteers, entertainers, table representatives, musicians, and everyone else who came together to put together such a wonderful celebration for our Family of Parishes. The festival truly was a celebration of the “rich mosaic” that is the Windsor Heritage Catholic Family of Parishes. My prayer is that we can continue to learn from each other, and grow in our witness to the Gospel, as we all seek to become faithful missionary disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Steven Huber, CSB