27th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2019

My Dear People,

The apostles, those chosen disciples whom Jesus entrusts with leadership responsibility, find the teaching very challenging (6,13; 22:30).  They ask the Lord for an increase of faith. They already have faith but consider it to be too weak. Jesus’ paradoxical reply indicates that even a little faith, small as a mustard seed, has great power. A similar saying about faith involves moving mountains (Matt 17:20, 21:21; 1 Cor 13:2). But here it is a mulberry tree that is uprooted and planted in the sea. Mulberry trees have an extensive root system, and trees are not planted in the sea, so the saying has the general meaning that faith can do the impossible.

Jesus continues with a brief parable, asking his listeners, especially the apostles, to compare themselves to a master in relation to a servant. The servant returns at mealtime from working in the field, and the master is thinking about food more than the servant’s wellbeing. Regarding the scenario, Jesus asks questions in verses 8 and 9 that already contain the expected answers. Instead of inviting him to sit at the table, would the master not rather say to the servant, prepare something for me to eat?  Yes, he would. Is he grateful?  No, he is not. In an earlier parable, Jesus had surprisingly spoken about a master who reverses the roles and waits on his servants (12:37).  This time, however, the master simply expects the servant to do his various jobs and carry out what was commanded. In the last verse, however, Jesus turns the tables and identifies the apostles not with masters but with servants who should carry out what they have been commanded to do, without complaint and without a sense of entitlement (see 15:29). Jesus is teaching his apostles what true service means. This lesson particularly applies to the missionary tasks that the apostles as servants will carry out: plowing to spread God’s kingdom (Luke 9:62; 1Cor 9:10), tending sheep as pastors, being ready to wait on—that is, serve—others, and giving them to eat and drink in the Eucharist (1Cor 11:25-26). Such is the stewardship that Jesus entrusts to the apostles (see Luke 12:42; 16:10; 1Cor 9:17).

Today is Respect Life Sunday! Join Catholics nationwide in celebrating the kickoff of Respect Life Month. Find reflection on this year’s theme, “Christ Our Holy: In Every Season of Life,” by visiting respectlifeprogram.org/reflection.

October is the Month of the Rosary. Most especially October 7th is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, an occasion that the Christians, even though outnumbered, won a decisive naval battle at Lepanto in 1575 against the Muslims. This was possible because the pope encouraged everyone in Europe to pray the Rosary for the victory of this battle, which was incited when the Turks attempted to take over the Venetian island of Cyprus. Exhausted and despairing of support, the Venetians appealed to Pope Pius V to help them check the Ottoman Empire’s advancement in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish army was larger and more well-equipped, but lacked discipline. The allies captured 117 galleys and many thousands of men, liberated about 15,000 enslaved Christians, and sank or burned about 50 galleys. The battle marked the first significant victory for a Christian naval force over a Turkish fleet and the last and greatest battle between oar-propelled naval vessels.

Yours in Christ,

 Fr. Vincent Clemente


There are no comments yet - be the first one to comment: