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A place to learn, mingle, and share

This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

Saint Augustine of Hippo is considered on of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time and the Doctor of the Church.
Learn More: Saint Augustine

5The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.'

6 The Lord replied, 'If you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea," and it would obey you.

7 '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 at once"?

8 Would he not be more likely to say, "Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards"?

9 Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told?

10 So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty." '


Above is the Gospel from this morning's Mass. I've been pondering it ever since it was read. I've of course read and hear this passage before, but as often happens it struck me differently today and actually has perplexed me a little bit, so I thought I would toss it out there for discussion.

The last line seems to me to be saying. . .if you only do what you are told and nothing more then you are useless. you have fulfilled your obligation but nothing more and that it is perhaps in the going beyond our obligation, without seeking reward or gratitude for both our obligation and for what is beyond our basics --- it is in that state and that place in those actions that our faith is increased?

Fr. Basil was filling in today for our pastor and he equated this to the love between spouses which can be increased or decreased by the actions of the spouses, their minimal obligations to one another or in going beyond and sacrificing themselves for their spouses.

I'm just curious how others experienced this passage and what other insights might there be in relation to it?? I am sorry if this is the wrong place for it, so if it needs to be moved feel free :-).


Oct 6th 2013 new
(quote) Lauren-927923 said: 5The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.'

6 The Lord replied, 'If you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea," and it would obey you.

7 '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 at once"?

8 Would he not be more likely to say, "Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards"?

9 Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told?

10 So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty." '


Above is the Gospel from this morning's Mass. I've been pondering it ever since it was read. I've of course read and hear this passage before, but as often happens it struck me differently today and actually has perplexed me a little bit, so I thought I would toss it out there for discussion.

The last line seems to me to be saying. . .if you only do what you are told and nothing more then you are useless. you have fulfilled your obligation but nothing more and that it is perhaps in the going beyond our obligation, without seeking reward or gratitude for both our obligation and for what is beyond our basics --- it is in that state and that place in those actions that our faith is increased?

Fr. Basil was filling in today for our pastor and he equated this to the love between spouses which can be increased or decreased by the actions of the spouses, their minimal obligations to one another or in going beyond and sacrificing themselves for their spouses.

I'm just curious how others experienced this passage and what other insights might there be in relation to it?? I am sorry if this is the wrong place for it, so if it needs to be moved feel free :-).


I concentrated on the part about increasing our faith. The next part I don't know whether to take literally or not.
Oct 6th 2013 new
It seemed to me that the disciples were being reproofed by Christ for seeking praises or merits by the request for an increase in faith, rather than an actual sincere request. The Douai-Rheims footnotes address the "unprofitable servants" attribution like this: "Because our service is of no profit to our master; and he justly claims it as our bounden duty. But though we are unprofitable to him, our serving him is not unprofitable to us; for he is pleased to give by his grace a value to our good works, which, in consequence of his promise, entitles them to an eternal reward."
Oct 6th 2013 new
Ahh thanks Chelsea --- I was thinking of it as a reproof but in a different take than this. it is very possible that the disciples were requesting the increase of faith as the reward itself.

And, perhaps that they didn't truly understand what faith was -- as with the mention of the mustard seed size of faith being enough to order the mulberry tree to uproot itself and plant itself in the ocean.

I am thinking this might be a good passage to meditate upon.

I love that we can hear the same gospel passages over and over and each time we can be touched by some new revelation or understanding.
Oct 6th 2013 new

This passage had me thinking too.

'So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty." '

Jesus gave us his all. Every last drop. My guess is that he is remonstrating with people who just fulfill those duties they are obligated to perform. But attaining holiness requires much more than that sort of spiritual niggardliness. If we LOVE God, we will give much more than merely what we're asked to do. We will give entirely of ourselves. That is the mark of a saint. Chelsea noted that God doesn't need our labors or our actions to accomplish his will. What God seeks is our love and faithfulness in all aspects of our lives. Just doing what we're supposed to doesn't make us a saint. Giving everything should be our goal.



Oct 6th 2013 new
(quote) Lauren-927923 said: 5The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith.'

6 The Lord replied, 'If you had faith like a mustard seed you could say to this mulberry tree, "Be uprooted and planted in the sea," and it would obey you.

7 '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 at once"?

8 Would he not be more likely to say, "Get my supper ready; fasten your belt and wait on me while I eat and drink. You yourself can eat and drink afterwards"?

9 Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told?

10 So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty." '


Above is the Gospel from this morning's Mass. I've been pondering it ever since it was read. I've of course read and hear this passage before, but as often happens it struck me differently today and actually has perplexed me a little bit, so I thought I would toss it out there for discussion.

The last line seems to me to be saying. . .if you only do what you are told and nothing more then you are useless. you have fulfilled your obligation but nothing more and that it is perhaps in the going beyond our obligation, without seeking reward or gratitude for both our obligation and for what is beyond our basics --- it is in that state and that place in those actions that our faith is increased?

Fr. Basil was filling in today for our pastor and he equated this to the love between spouses which can be increased or decreased by the actions of the spouses, their minimal obligations to one another or in going beyond and sacrificing themselves for their spouses.

I'm just curious how others experienced this passage and what other insights might there be in relation to it?? I am sorry if this is the wrong place for it, so if it needs to be moved feel free :-).


what previous posters have said rings true for me............

-my biggest reaction to the homily was having faith........
trusting God because He doesn't need my human labour
Oct 7th 2013 new
Hi David,

That is basically what I concluded about the passage I had not considered it from the perspective that Chelsea posited. Which is why its fun to talk about these things to see what others got from it and what other things we might get from it by discussing it.
Oct 7th 2013 new
Hi Susan,

I hadn't thought much about the fact that God doesn't need our labor until it was brought up here. But, of course that is true. and perhaps that even a little bit of faith that is genuine is powerful enough to move mountains - as Fr. Basil reminded us it says in some of the other passages on the mustard seed :-). It is really nice to talk about it though thank you.
Oct 7th 2013 new
(quote) Lauren-927923 said: ...

9 Must he be grateful to the servant for doing what he was told?

10 So with you: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, "We are useless servants: we have done no more than our duty." ....


I would interpret it as meaning that, as servants of God, who strive to do His will, insofar as we are to some degree successful in that endeavor, we are not to see ourselves as being deserving of a reward, but to recognize that we have done what we are required to do, which is sufficient reward in and of itself.
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