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Resources for Pentecost +17

World Communion Sunday

"Your Sacred Table"
adapted from a prayer by St. Francis de Sales

Divine Savior,
we come to Your sacred table to nourish ourselves,
     not with bread but with Yourself, true Bread of eternal life.

Help us daily to make a good and perfect meal of your divine nourishment. Let us be continually refreshed by the perfume of Your kindness and goodness.

May the Holy Spirit fill us with His Love. Meanwhile, let us prepare a place for this holy food by emptying our hearts. Amen.


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Sermon Excerpt:

Faith of the Mustard Seed, Luke 17:5-10
Ken Howard

“If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”

Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel passage have always left me a bit puzzled. If Jesus meant them as a literal teaching about what the prayers of a person with even the most minute faith can achieve, then his instruction seems to have accomplished little. I mean, even only a few people in each generation attained the level of faith of the minuscule mustard seed, surely the sea would be a floating forest of mulberry trees by now. But as far as we know, there is not even one out there. Yes, I know, Jesus managed to shrivel a fig tree, but as far as we know, he never got one to plant itself in any major body of water. But today, in light of the recent tragedies and seeming triumphs of evil, Jesus’ words almost seem to taunt us.

But Jesus was not one to taunt. Nor was he one for giving useless advice. So he must have been trying to get at something else. But what?

When we think of Jesus, many images come to mind: Rabbi, Teacher, Good Shepherd, Worker of Miracles, Son of God, Messiah. All serious images, these. But there is one thing about him that we often overlook. And that is his sense of humor. You gotta admit: Jesus must have had a pretty twisted sense of humor to pick those twelve bone-heads as his Apostles. And God, too, to choose to work through human beings.

Look again. But this time imagine Jesus responding with a silly grin. “Increase our faith!” the Apostles say. And this is how Jesus responds. He paints for them a mental picture ...Subscribers: click here for the full sermon and more


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