Lk 17: 5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “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 among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’?

Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Invited to be friends of the Lord

There is such a thing as preaching to the choir – or to the usual readers of this site – too much.  With all of September and now into October, the Gospels from Luke have been words of warning not to the occasional Christian but to seasoned followers of Christ.

We are not to take the place of honor (1 Sept) or to love even the most precious things of this world too much (8 Sept); we were to identify with the elder son, not the younger, prodigal one (15 Sept), and were warned that like the dishonest steward, we cannot serve both God and mammon (22 Sept); we flinched at noticing the unnamed rich man in all of us (29 Sept); and today “We are worthless servants; we have done only what we ought to have done!”  What are we to do?

Perhaps we are only to remember that we are loved sinners who actually are invited to the Lord’s table, where our God calls us servants no longer, but friends.

—Fr. Greg Ostdiek, SJ, is a Jesuit priest of the Midwest Province.  Ordained this past June, he is spending his first year after ordination studying education at Harvard.


Give me only your love and your grace;
That is enough for me.

—Excerpt from the Suscipe Prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola