Lectionary 27, Year C
A little faith goes a long way is our Lord’s point in the gospel. A mustard seed’s-worth has miraculous potential. The patience, tenacity, and endurance required for the life of faith are the blessings received in water and the word (holy baptism), bread and wine (holy communion), the word read and proclaimed in this assembly. Anticipate them. Receive them with thanksgiving.
First Reading: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
Injustice and violence in the time leading up to the Babylonian exile move this prophet to lament: How can a good and all-powerful God see evil in the world and seemingly remain indifferent? God answers by proclaiming that the wicked will perish, but the righteous will live by faith.
1The oracle that the prophet Habakkuk saw.
2O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,
and you will not listen?
Or cry to you “Violence!”
and you will not save?
3Why do you make me see wrongdoing
and look at trouble?
Destruction and violence are before me;
strife and contention arise.
4So the law becomes slack
and justice never prevails.
The wicked surround the righteous—
therefore judgment comes forth perverted.
2:1I will stand at my watchpost,
and station myself on the rampart;
I will keep watch to see what he will say to me,
and what he will answer concerning my complaint.
2Then the Lord answered me and said:
Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so that a runner may read it.
3For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
it will surely come, it will not delay.
4Look at the proud!
Their spirit is not right in them,
but the righteous live by their faith.
Psalm: Psalm 37:1-9
Commit your way to the Lord; put your trust in the Lord. (Ps. 37:5)
1Do not be provoked by | evildoers;
do not be jealous of those | who do wrong.
2For they shall soon wither | like the grass,
and like the green grass | fade away.
3Put your trust in the Lord| and do good;
dwell in the land and | find safe pasture.
4Take delight | in the Lord,
who shall give you your | heart’s desire. R
5Commit your way to the Lord; put your trust | in the Lord,
and see what | God will do.
6The Lord will make your vindication as clear | as the light
and the justice of your case like the | noonday sun.
7Be still before the Lord and wait | patiently.
Do not be provoked by the one who prospers, the one who succeeds in | evil schemes.
8Refrain from anger, leave | rage alone;
do not be provoked; it leads on- | ly to evil.
9For evildoers shall | be cut off,
but those who hope in the Lord shall pos- | sess the land. R
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
1We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; 2for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, 4begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints — 5and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, 6so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. 7Now as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you — so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.
Gospel: Luke 17:5-10
On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus instructs his followers about the power of faith and the duties of discipleship. He calls his disciples to adopt the attitude of servants whose actions are responses to their identity rather than works seeking reward.
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6The 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.
7“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’? 8Would 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’? 9Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10So 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!’ ”
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