Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time


Luke  17.5-10

"How long am I to cry for help while you will not listen?"

Habakkuk cries out about “oppression, injustice, tyranny, outrage and violence, contention and discord”. In the tensions of today's world situation, all these terms are realized on an unprecedented scale. His protest is utterly topical. And God's reply, that no power can overcome the one who remains faithful, is still valid and so much needed today.

Habakkuk was writing at a time of great adversity for Jerusalem, and no hope appeared on the horizon. The mighty forces of treachery and violence seemed to overwhelm his people. Even devout believers were tempted to despair in the presence of so much evil. Habakkuk cried out to God but there seemed to be no answer. Thoroughly angry at the pride, the violence and the injustice all around him, he complained that God did not seem to listen and he wanted to know why. But then he reflected further and came to recognise God's response: the person who trusts in God will not be deceived and, in the end, will be vindicated by faith. Thus Habakkuk urged his contemporaries, and urges us today, to hold on in trust: our faith will save us.

In today's Gospel the apostles pray: Lord, increase our faith. In response Jesus tells them that “more does not mean better.” To have even just a mustard seed of faith - the smallest of seeds - is enough to change the world. It is so easy to think that we don't have enough, that we need more. We need to wait until we have more faith, more training, more education, more ... whatever, before God will use us to do his will. Yet faith is trust in God and to have any faith at all is to be blessed; it is already enough. Whether you have a mountain or a mustard-seed worth of faith, let it move your heart to act this week. It is enough to be able to do great things, enough to make the world a better place.