Service to the Church

Reading 1 Ti 1:1-9

Responsorial Psalm Ps 24:1b-2, 3-4ab, 5-6

Gospel Lk 17:1-6

Today in our Church community we see many people who give themselves generously in service to the Church. In the first reading Paul lists the qualities that must characterize men chosen to be presbyters or bishops in the local churches in his day. We might well expect many of these qualities to describe also the men and women who, in many different ways, aspire to serve the Church today. We might hope surely that they would be “hospitable and lovers of goodness; steady, just, holy and self-controlled.” Above all, they must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, in order that they might encourage others and refute those who oppose it.

If you were on a search committee in your church and were responsible for finding people who possess these leadership qualifications, would you yourself satisfy the criteria?

In the Gospel Jesus warns his disciples not to be a person who causes others to sin. We are to be alert and watch ourselves lest we engage in such activity. While we are not to judge others, we
still should not be blind when our brother sins. We are called to rebuke him. But more than that, we are to be able to forgive him when he repents. In order to forgive others constantly, we must pray as the disciples did, “Increase our faith!” Then like the tiny mustard seed we might be able to accomplish what seemed to be impossible.