Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time

mustard-seedWe have great respect for people who are conscientious, fulfill their duties, do all that is expected of them. More than even respect, we have great awe for those who walk the extra mile, who reach out to others when this is not required, who go beyond normal expectations. Going beyond expectations is an enlargement of self that enables us to transcend boundaries and limits, and achieve the seemingly impossible. People who do this can move mountains, can shake foundations, can uproot a mulberry tree. These people inspire us, move us to greater heroics, challenge us to stretch ourselves so that we become even larger than life. These are people of great faith.
In our Gospel, the apostles demand that Jesus increase their faith. Jesus responds that even faith “the size of a mustard seed” is enough to do great  things. The “unprofitable servants” of Jesus’ gospel teaching simply do what they are commanded—they do not go beyond normal expectations; they cannot uproot a mulberry tree They misunderstood the nature and power of faith. Faith cannot be quantified, but its power can be impeded. Jesus teaches that with even a little bit of faith, we can achieve great and seemingly impossible things.[Living Liturgy 2013]
Aligned with God, we can do the seemingly impossible because we can do as God does. We can forgive someone who has broken our trust, love someone who rubs us the wrong way, relieve hunger even by simple acts of generosity, bring justice to situations where the powerful exploit the weak, remain faithful to prayer even when God seems absent. All these are acts of faith. All these go beyond normal expectations. All these reveal how powerful our God is, and how deep our faith can be.