“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.”

 One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, “Jump! I’ll catch you.” He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: “Jump! I will catch you.” But the boy protested, “Daddy, I can’t see you.” The father replied, “But I can see you and that’s all that matters.”

In today’s gospel Jesus has two lessons to give us about living our lives in troubled times. Firstly, he tells his disciples and us to grow and increase our faith in Him. The second message that Jesus gives us is that we should live our lives in humble service, believing and trusting that God is at work and needs us to do our part in fulfilling His plan in the world today. To drive the message of faith he says: “If you had 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!”

Who are we before God? This is the question asked of us today. We are just ordinary servants, who do what they have to do and do so in a spirit of faith, which is God’s greatest gift to us. But if we have faith, God can do much with us. Even our stammering prayers, our clumsy attempts to love people and God, our efforts to make this world a bit more human and a bit more the way God wants it, are no more than things we are supposed to do and which the Lord expects us to do. We ask Jesus in this Eucharist that we may be good servants of God and people, and that with his help we may do better what we have to do.

A mustard seed is very tiny; there is a chance of losing it if it is not handled carefully. Likewise, faith; if it is not handled carefully there is a chance of losing it. We have to feed faith. Do not despise small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. (Zachariah 4:10) Let us look at the Bible. Against a towering giant, a few stone pebbles seem futile. But God used it in David’s hands to topple Goliath. Compared to the tithes of the wealthy, a widow’s 2 copper coins seem puny. But Jesus used them to inspire us. Moses had a staff. David had a sling. Samson had a jawbone. Rahab had a string. Mary had some ointment. Dorcas had a needle. All were used by God. Mustard seeds of power in our hands, but mountains in God’s hands.


 God our Father, we thank you for our faith, which we have received from you as a gift to be developed with your help. Make our faith grow day after day, let it give meaning to our life and express itself in love and justice. Let it bring us joy and understanding and make us very close to you and to people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.