Yes the readings today speak out of many things, but especially of poverty of spirit—that attitude of total trust in and dependency upon the Lord. In the First Reading (Habakkuk 1:2-3; 2:2-4) the setting is shortly before the exile of the Israelites into Babylon. The prophet expresses sorrow about the blindness of the leaders and people; but God tells him that He, God, has a plan, and it will be fulfilled at the right time. In other words, the prophet is told to pass on the message to all to live a life faithfully depending totally upon God. It is a message of hope in the middle of great difficulty.
In the gospel message today (Luke 17:5-10) we hear the reminder – one that all Christians need to hear – that we cannot earn our way into heaven. Disciples have been given the gift of faith. That’s all they need, because a disciple trusts in the Master and simply carries out his instructions.
For a Christian, that simply means loving God and loving neighbor, with no conditions attached to our love. So at the end of the month, we don't line up for our paycheck like a hired employee; we are truly "slaves" for Christ, his servants
for the rest of our life on earth. We chose that path; we are committed to that path; and we trust the Master to provide for all of our needs. We expect nothing more than to be loved, and even that is a gift from God, not an obligation on
So we come full circle to "poverty of spirit," a total dependency on one's Master. Just as a real slave back in the time of Jesus was totally dependent on his master, we’re told by Jesus that the same situation applies to us: we are totally dependent on God. This is what faith is all about, a total dependency on God. If we "step out in faith," God can take our "little bit" and make it produce a harvest of good.
KNOW YOUR CATECHISM!
Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. But we can lose it, as St. Paul indicated to St. Timothy: “I am reminding you to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you.” Therefore, to live, grow and persevere in faith, we must nourish it with the word of God. (CCC 162) and we must beg the Lord to increase our faith; it must be “working through charity,” abounding in hope and embedded in the faith of the Church. (See also Articles #2089, 1037, 2016, 2573,
Note: - “CCC” stands for Catechism of the Catholic Church:
An on-line copy can be found at: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/ccc_toc2.htm.