From the Pastor’s Desk | Oct. 2, 2022 | Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.”
~ Luke 17:5-10
Brothers and Sisters,
I have an indelible image of my father, taking a rare minute to relax in the TV room on his recliner, snacking on a bag of Hershey Kisses. He had an inexplainable habit of taking the foil wrapping and crunching them up into small balls and putting it back into the bag of uneaten kisses. While my siblings and I occasionally succeeded in begging for a chocolate kiss, it was a known rule that we were not allowed to help ourselves to my dad’s treats (little crumpled balls of foil and all) — though I plead the fifth as to whether I ever broke that rule.
Looking back on my childhood, my parents deserved some well-earned time to relax. They both worked hard! My father earned a living with the Maryland State Health Department and took on a second job using his CPA license to prepare personal tax returns. He somehow made time to coach soccer, sometimes for multiple youth teams, while coordinating our parish and, eventually, the Archdiocesan soccer programs. Still, my mother’s life was even busier: raising seven children, teaching VBS and Sunday school at our parish, helping at our area pregnancy center, and eventually working as a teacher’s aide at a parish school. I didn’t see their daily sacrifices as extraordinary and heroic at the time. As a child, if I needed (or more likely wanted) something, I did not first sit them down and serve them a nice meal. No, I added to their tasks and responsibilities. No wonder I recall their exhaustion so clearly.
In the Gospel, the apostles make a reasonable request of the Lord, “Increase our faith.” Jesus reminds us that we can accomplish the impossible (like raising seven children), even if we only have the slightest “mustard seed” bit of faith. But then Jesus continues the teaching by comparing the apostles to the servant, who should not expect reward and recognition for fulfilling a required duty. We should accept God’s gift of faith similarly: keep living as dutiful servants. Let’s recommit ourselves to doing what is obligated. And much like the way muscles strengthen through frequent exercise, our faith will grow stronger with each humble act of faith that we offer.
In closing, I want to offer my deep gratitude to our parishioners who have been serving in faith. I see firsthand the fruits of your efforts, visible in engagement in Mass ministry and liturgical events; our faith formation opportunities for adults, men’s and women’s ministries, youth, and children are seeing a renewed vibrancy. Please join me as we pray for even more servants to make light work of the mission Christ has entrusted to us as members of his Body.
In the Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett