27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Say, ‘We are merely servants’.

Luke 17:10

Beginning with a few moments of quiet.

The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you.

Find a comfortable space and when ready, take three deep breaths. As you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.

Now return to breathing normally and take a few moments to reflect on:

  • Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
  • Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?

If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.

Led By the Spirit – Eric Nordhoff

and when you are ready read the Gospel

a familiar story, and when we encounter a familiar story we can be inclined to hear the version we know rather than actually hearing the story. Try to listen to it as if for the first time, hearing something new in it…

….. the Gospel Luke 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’ The Lord replied, ‘Were your faith the size of a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it would obey you.

‘Which of you, with a servant ploughing or minding sheep, would say to him when he returned from the fields, “Come and have your meal immediately”? Would he not be more likely to say, “Get my supper laid; make yourself tidy and wait on me while I eat and drink. You can eat and drink yourself afterwards”? Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told? So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, “We are merely servants: we have done no more than our duty.”’

Reflect on the Gospel

Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge.

Use some quietening music again if you wish.

Fairytale – Ludovico Einaudi

Ask yourself, how is this Gospel speaking to my situation in my life in this moment.

This is not a difficult Gospel to interpret. The imagery is very straight forward. Sean Goan offers the following reflection on it:

The parable indicates that a servant’s place is to serve and it is foolish to think of their role in any other way. Here Jesus is not to be seen promoting systems that oppress; rather he is using an example from daily life to say to the disciples to be careful that your attitude to God is not one of asking ‘what’s in it for me?’ Again and again the
gospel of Luke makes it very clear that the way of the disciple is hard but that is only because dying to yourself is hard.
The paradox is that this is the only way to be really alive and at peace with the world.

SEAN GOAN – Let the Reader Understand, Year C

Here is a set of intercessions by JOSÉ A PAGOLA arising from the Apostle’s request: Lord, increase our faith.

Throughout history the followers of Jesus have seen years of fidelity to the gospel as well as dark hours of infidelity, times of strong faith and times of crisis and uncertainty. Do we not need to ask the Lord to increase our faith?

Lord, increase our faith! Teach us that faith does not consist in believing in something but in believing in you, incarnate Son of God. Open or hearts to your Spirit; let your Word break through to us; may we learn to live the way you did and to follow closely in your footsteps. You are the one who awakens our faith.

Lord, increase our faith! Give us a faith focused on essentials, and not on additions that take us away from the core of the gospel – faith in your living presence in our hearts and in our communities of believers.

Lord, increase our faith! Give us a stronger life-giving relationship with you. Give us a radiant faith that will lead us to a new phase of Christianity, more faithful to your Spirit and to the course you trace.

Lord, increase our faith! Help us to identify ourselves with the project of the kingdom of God. Help us to live our faith humbly with passion for God and passion for every human being.

Lord, increase our faith! Teach us to make the change to a life more true to the gospel. Let us not resign ourselves to a watered down Christianity. Teach us to follow you by taking up our cross each day.

Lord, increase our faith! Teach us to discover that faith does not consist in believing in a God who suits us, but in one who strengthens our responsibility and expands our capacity to love.

Lord, increase our faith! Let us experience your risen presence among us as you renew our` lives and inspire our communities.

JOSÉ A PAGOLA – Following in the Footsteps of Jesus

Does this support your reflection on the Gospel passage or not? If so in what way and if not why not? Sit with that and ask what is this Gospel calling you to be or to change this week?

Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen

Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on our Gospel for this weekend in written or on video.

The following prayer is from the Center for Action and Contemplation community. I invite you to read it yourself below or to join with Richard Rohr in praying it (see also http://www.cac.org)

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.