Just do it! – Tuesday, 32nd week in ordinary time – Luke 17:7-10

Throughout the Gospel of Luke, Jesus has repeatedly been critical of the witness and teachings of the Pharisees. There was a duplicity in the way they lived and he often condemned them as false spiritual shepherds leading people astray while abusing their power. Jesus now turns to his disciples as he does to all of us today. He speaks to what a true servant of God must understand.

The pericope of today must be read in its entirety starting from verse one.  The reality as Jesus lays out for us is that we are all tempted as leaders and prone to stumbling (skandalon =scandal in Greek) but woe to the leader who does stumble and causes others to do the same.  Jesus calls the Christian disciple to pay attention to oneself. But then there is also a shared responsibility for one another; hence the call to pay attention to the moral life of all the members of the community while constantly finding it in one’s heart to forgive seven times a day. It is no wonder that such a tall order made the disciple feel overwhelmed asking the Lord to increase their faith.

They ask for more faith, just as we do. Yet, Jesus does not offer help, at least not the kind the apostles seek. The Greek syntax of 17:6 implies a criticism of the apostles. Jesus scolds them for lacking faith even the size of a mustard seed. Jesus tells them that they didn’t need “more” faith. They simply had to be able to tap into the faith that they already had, they simply needed to put it to work.  

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