Navarre Bible Commentary:
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Luke 17:5-10

The Power of Faith

[5] The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith! [6] And the Lord said, “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea’, and it would obey you.

Humble Service

[7] “Will any of you, who has a servant ploughing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down at table’? [8] Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink’? [9] Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? [10] So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'”

Catholic Exegesis:

The Second Vatican Council teaches  that if we are to derive the true meaning from the sacred texts,  attention must be devoted “not only to their content but to the unity of the whole of Scripture, the living tradition of the entire Church, and the analogy of faith. […] Everything to do with the interpretation of Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgment of the Church, which exercises the divinely conferred communion and ministry of watching over and interpreting the Word of God” (Dei Verbum, 12).

St. John Paul II, when he promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church,  explained that the Catechism “is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.”  He went on to “declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion” (Fidei Depositum).

Cited in the Catechism:

Passages from this Gospel reading are cited and explained in the Catechism, paragraph 162.

Commentary:

5.  “Increase our faith!”: a good ejaculatory prayer for every Christian. “Omnia possibilia sunt credenti”. Everything is possible for anyone who has faith.’ The words are Christ’s. How is it that you don’t say to Him with the Apostles: ‘”adauge nobis fidem“! increase my faith!’?” (The Way, 588).

6. “I’m not one for miracles. I have told you that in the Holy Gospel I can find more than enough to confirm my faith. But I can’t help pitying those Christians — pious people, ‘apostles’ many of them — who smile at the idea of extraordinary ways, of supernatural events. I feel the urge to tell them: Yes, this is still the age of miracles: we too would work them if we had faith!” (The Way, 583).

7-10. Jesus is not approving this master’s abusive and arbitrary behavior: He is using an example very familiar to His audience to show the attitude a person should have towards his Creator: everything, from our very existence to the eternal happiness promised us, is one huge gift from God. Man is always in debt to God; no matter what service he renders Him he can never adequately repay the gifts God has given him. There is no sense in a creature adopting a proud attitude towards God. What Jesus teaches us here we see being put into practice by our Lady, who replied to God’s messenger (the Archangel Gabriel), “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord” (Luke 1:38).

Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” St Jerome

 

About Don Gonzalez 1056 Articles
I am a cradle Catholic, wandered in the desert of sin for 20 years and returned into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church in 2005. I am the founder of Joe Catholic, a lay apostolate designed by men for men. Our mission is to aid lay men in answering the universal call to holiness and equipping them to be the spiritual leaders of their families. Simply put, we help people learn, live and share their faith. I recently completed my Masters in pastoral theology from Ave Maria University and work as the Magnet Program Coordinator at the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet in Dallas.

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