Reflection on 11/11 Gospel – Luke 17: 1-6
Jesus said to his disciples,
"Things that cause sin will inevitably occur,
but woe to the one through whom they occur.
It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck
and he be thrown into the sea
than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.
Be on your guard!
If your brother sins, rebuke him;
and if he repents, forgive him.
And if he wrongs you seven times in one day
and returns to you seven times saying, 'I am sorry,'
you should forgive him."
And the Apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."
The Lord replied, "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."
In this gospel, Jesus speaks and gives us three points to reflect on. The first: Do not cause others to sin. The second: forgive your brother. And the third point: Increase your faith. In the first part of this gospel, Jesus uses severe language, and draws from a drastic example to make his point. Our job as followers of Christ is to do our best to not lead others to sin. No matter what your vocation in life is, we each have a similar goal, right? For myself, I am newly married and my job as a married man is to get my wife to heaven. Just like it is the job of a parent to get their children to heaven, or that of a single person (or any person in general) to get their neighbor to heaven. As a priest and religious, they have a duty to tend to their flock and get their congregation to heaven. We each have this goal, no matter the vocation, and we cannot obtain that goal if we are leading others to sin.
The next part of this gospel is Jesus asking us to forgive, over and over again. Even seven times in one day, or seventy times seven. The disciples know this is hard, which leads them to ask Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus assures them, which is made to comfort each one of us who reads and reflects on this gospel today, that even the smallest amount of true faith can be powerful enough to move even the most stubborn and rooted. True faith of any amount is strong enough to forgive even as Christ forgives, as long as we are willing.