Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Reading 1Ti 1:1-9; Gospel Luke 17: 1- 6
“Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to anyone by whom they come” Jesus goes on with a strong teaching and condemnation for those by whom the occasions of stumbling come. Jesus never says that there are no temptations and circumstances in which we fall into temptations, because He Himself was tempted. Today’s Gospel passage puts before me a question, do I belong to those people who are with millstones tied around their neck to be thrown into the sea? There are lots of circumstances in and around us which would tempt us to sin. But the question is do we create those situations and circumstances? We can be creators of those situations by our words, actions, attitudes and by our lives. I believe that it is high time for us t o tie the millstone around our neck if we become the cause of sin and temptations in the society. We need to become the people who clear the blocks and barricades which would take the people away from the presence of the Lord, and Jesus s gives us a best step and solution to remove the blocks, that is ‘forgiveness’, a beautiful word to speak upon but, difficult to practice. Why does Jesus emphasize forgiveness so much and so often? Because, first of all to forgive is to love. And a person who loves others can never keep a count of the times he has to forgive others, because as St. Paul tells us. “Love never keeps a record of other’s wrongs. If such a record is kept then it will not be love. Jesus wants us to make forgiveness of others our second nature. For Jesus forgiveness is not something to be studied about, but it has to be practiced in everyday life, especially as he showed it on the cross.
“ If you have faith like a mustard seed”…….., we always compare things with something better, here Jesus compares the faith with a seed which is very small and insignificant compared to the size of the other seeds. It is true that comparatively must seed is small. But compare to other seeds it has a strong taste. If you break or smash it we can experience its strong flavor, which adds taste to the food. Our faith should be like this; it should be an expression of inner strength and surrender to the Lord. This genuine expression of the faith will bring about wonders and miracles in our lives and in the lives of others. The saints have shown us through their lives. Having a faith like mustard seed invites each one of us to something greater, this seed should grow and become a tree so that we become trees of faith where people can experience the shadow of Christ’s love, and a shelter of God’s ever abiding presence.