Gospel Reflection Tuesday (8 November) – 32nd week Ordinary Time – We are but servants
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (17: 7-10) in which Jesus says to his disciples ‘when you have done all you have been told to do, say, ‘We are merely servants; we have done no more than our duty’’.
Fr Paul says the two sections of this Gospel reading might, at first reading, appear to be entirely separate. Yesterday was the first section about faith; the disciples asked Jesus ‘increase our faith’; and the second section, which we read today is about the reward of service. In fact, these two sections do fit together.
Yesterday, was about how and what faith is required; it is not just reciting a creed, but it is by hanging on by one’s fingertips, through thick and thin; it is hanging on to God’s power and God’s will to save. There is nothing else that gives us any hope and it is certainly not about my own power or ability.
Fr Paul says, that’s why, today in the second section, we have no right to expect any sort of reward from God. When we hear the unyielding command of the master to the slave in the Gospel to expect nothing and to get on with serving supper, we should be instantly reminded that at the Last Supper it was Jesus who put on his apron and washed his disciples’ feet. This gives us the confidence that our Master cares for us and ministers to us.
For our reflection today, Fr Paul says, let us place our trust in God’s love and that it can save us.