SMALL BEGINNINGS

Tuesday, 30th Week in Ordinary Time           

            St. Francis once invited a young monk to join him on a trip to the town to preach. Honored to be given the invitation, the monk readily accepted. All day long he and Francis walked through the streets, byways and alleys, and even into the suburbs. They rubbed shoulders with hundreds of people.

            At the day’s end, the two headed back home. Not even once had Francis addressed a crowd, nor had he talked to anyone about the Gospel.

            Greatly disappointed, his young companion said, “I thought we were going to the town to preach.” Francis replied, “My son, we have preached. We were preaching while we were walking.” “We were seen by many and our behavior was closely watched.” “It is of no use to walk anywhere to preach unless we preach everywhere as we walk.”

            More than thunderous preaching, silent preaching by our daily lives, would make deeper impression in others, and the same time further the Gospel’s growth more effectively.

            Jesus, in today’s gospel reading, speaks about the kingdom of God. The two parables Jesus narrates – mustard seed and yeast – both speak of the small beginning of the kingdom of God. Jesus tells us that this is how the kingdom of God works in our lives and in the world. It’s beginning is rather small, but given time, it grows into something big. The point is: What God has started does not remain small. It will grow big – significantly and exceedingly big!

            Often we tend to look for the kingdom of God only in “big things.” We want to see it’s “extraordinary manifestations.” But the kingdom of God is made manifest in simple, little ways. It is there in every kind and affirming word given to the discouraged. It is there in every generous deed shared to the needy. It is there in every expression of compassion shown to the poor. It is there in every act of forgiveness extended to the sinner. We must always remember that every good deed expands God’s kingdom and brings it to fruition and fulfillment.

            Let us end with a prayer: Lord, teach me to recognize the seeds of transformation that you have placed within me. Help me to understand that the kingdom is growing now in me and that you are making your presence known to me in small, as well as big ways.

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