Jesus said to his disciples,
“Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’
you should forgive him.”
And the Apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”
The Lord replied, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”
17:2 millstone A large stone used to grind grain in a mill. little ones Likely refers to new or immature believers (compare Matt 18:1–6).
17:3 forgive Forgiving someone who repents is not just an option; it is commanded by Jesus.
17:4 seven times Suggests the need for abundant forgiveness (compare Matt 18:21–22). In response to God’s forgiveness of them, Jesus’ followers should offer forgiveness to those who have wronged them. As with His teaching in Luke 6:27–36, Jesus calls His followers to imitate God by displaying sacrificial love. See Matt 6:14–15.
17:6 a mustard seed A tiny seed that grows into a 10-foot-high shrub that is an example to show us that a minuscule amount of faith can overcome overwhelming obstacles.
Friends, in today’s Gospel we hear Jesus speak about faith. Faith is powerful, for it is a link to the reality of God, the power that made and sustains the cosmos. Sometimes, the power of faith is manifested in spectacular and immediately obvious ways. For example, there is a long tradition of faith healing, stretching back to Jesus himself and through many of the saints. There is also the power of prayer. When some people ask in a spirit of trust, really believing that what they are asking for will happen, it happens.
But, more often than not, the power of faith manifests itself in the courage to face trauma, sickness, even the terror of death. It is the confidence that we are being guided and cared for, even when that guidance and care are not immediately apparent.
– Bishop Robert Barron
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.