Faith like a mustard seed.

The 20th Sunday after Pentecost
Year C
Luke 17:5-10

A mustard seed is pretty small and it's remarkable how any seed contains all the information and the dynamic ability to become a plant of any size.

"This" becomes "that".  Our babies soon tower above us.  The little problem left long enough soon overwhelms.  And (or but) isn't it amazing what good things stem from humble beginnings: from chance meetings, from individual acts of courage and from that strange combination of curiosity, derring-do and inner assurance we know as "faith"?

Jesus credits faith, even smatterings of faith, with the ability to move mountains.  It is important to note that faith - when Jesus talks about it - has an object.  The small faith that matters is not cheery optimism or faith in one's self - something destined to disappoint.  Faith here is faith in God - faith in God to fulfill his promises and to complete what he has begun in us and in the world.

It's what we have as the chief implement in the Church's hand when we found communities and presume to reach out to others.  Looking with a critical eye at our resources they are, in fact, pretty slim.  We believe, however, that God has an even greater investment in the Mission of the Church than any of us and so by believing that we will be equipped we work as partners with God and not owners of the process.  We take our forward steps based on that subtle and frequently neglected knowledge.

It is the chief implement in the hand of the individual as well.  Looking critically at our own personalities, we who "are neither happy nor good" might well wonder how we will ever get from where we are to where we need to be.  Were it not for the fact that there is one around us, and within us and above us who has a greater investment in our progress as people, in our journey towards love and in the cultivation of our courage than we do - than our parents did we might well despair.

We are not alone, though, in either journey.  Faith in God - even faltering faith - will have its answer and it's reward.

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