Friday, January 31, 2014

Little things? Who cares!? Apparently, God does!

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. - St.Luke

Gospel Text: (MK 4:26-34)
Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Today we hear the parable of the mustard seed. I couldn’t tell you what a mustard seed is, so reflecting on this passage, I decided to do some research about the mustard seed. A mustard seed is like a weed; once you plant one, it grows and grows until it overtakes any living vegetable or flower in a garden. In Jesus’ time, it was against Jewish law to plant a mustard seed because it would kill anything and everything that prevented it from growing.

In every Christian's soul Jesus Christ has sown —by virtue of their Baptism— grace, sanctity, and the Truth. It is necessary that these seeds sprout, grow and bear a multitude of good fruits, our deeds: deeds of service and charity, of kindness and generosity, of sacrifice to properly comply with our daily duty and to give happiness to those around us; deeds of constant prayer, of forgiveness and understanding, of effort to grow in virtue, and of joy.

This Kingdom of God must begin within each one of us first, only then will it extend to our family, to our community, to our society, and to our world. Because, he who lives like that, «what does he do but prepare the path of God (...), so that the strength of grace fills him and the light of truth lights him up; so that his ways to God are always straight» (Saint Gregory the Great).

We must always remember, we can not give what we do not have. God is “the fountain of all holiness” (Eucharistic Prayers I-IV), He is the source and we are not! A concept to never forget!!! We must go to him first, empty ourselves, in order to make room in our soul for HIS grace, which is then OURS to give to OTHERS. Here is an analogy to illustrate that point. Not even God can fill a cup with milk, which has water already in it all the way up to the brim. First the water must be poured out, then the milk has room to be poured in. The same is true with us, we have to “make room” for God within our heart. If we are “full of ourselves” God cannot find room to work within us.

The seed of faith begins very small, «It is like a mustard seed which, when sown, is the smallest of all the seeds scattered upon the soil. But once sown, it grows up and becomes the largest of the plants in the garden» (Mk 4:31-32). The parable of the mustard seed helps us see that with God, small things can become an epidemic and thus make a huge impact.

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