Readings: Psalm 95:1-9; 2 Tim 1:6-8;13-14; Luke 17:5-10
This week’s readings highlight the problem of both keeping and living our faith. While the number will vary depending upon our age, we have each had people in our lives who have encouraged, shared and supported us in faith – parents, teachers, friends, priests, fellow parishioners. Such encouragement and support might have been in the substance of faith or it may have taken the form of lived witness. All such activity is part of God at work in the world, what the apostle Paul refers to as ‘en theos’, in God. So when the responsorial psalm reminds us: ‘if today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts’ – this includes the variety of people in our lives who are encouraging and supporting us in our faith. Am I open? Am I listening? Will I act?
Like the disciples, we can ask God to ‘increase our faith’. But what am I doing to encourage my faith? Do I regularly engage in prayer and the sacraments? If being a disciple of Jesus was a crime, would there be enough evidence in my behaviour to convict me? Am I compassionate and loving to people around me? Do I care for those in need – the lost and vulnerable? Do I work for justice even if it means standing up to those in power?
What is our reward? Salvation in this world and the next – for those we help and ourselves. In all this, we are simply living our faith. This is what we choose to do. It is no big deal. And thus the closing line of today’s Gospel: ‘we have done what we were obliged to do.’