“It is like a mustard seed which, at the time of its sowing, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth.Yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.” (Mk 4:31-32)
Beginning and end. Between them – God. His eye always sees the edges. He is the Alfa and the Omega. When He looks at us and our even smallest efforts, He can see the beautiful end. For us it was the smallest minute spend on prayer, for Him it is the eternity of us united with Him in Heaven.
Perspective. We are born to perform great actions, take up fantastic challenges, heroic deeds. But this is so often the end of a fulfilled life, the effect of my fidelity for many years. Begninning is small, ordinary, not attractive, needs time.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom” (Alleluia versus)
“Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!” (Mk 4:23)
Ears for listening!
Generally ears ARE for listening. The problem with ears is – to whom to listen. My internal dialog or to what the others are saying in the real, external world. Do I listen to MY interpretation or do I listen in order to understand another person. Those who have taken part in Program 1 remember the mistaken patterns of interpretation in the internal dialogue. And we remember that ears are for listening to get to know to know each other in depth.
My daily meditation is about the same. To listen in order to get to know each other in depth. To know Him better, but also in the same moment to know myself. My reaction to the message is also a part of getting to know myself. The most exciting moment in the morning is opening His Word – like opening a letter or e-mail, knowing that your beloved one is away and promised to send you a message. Like my Mom asking for sending a text when I arrive at my travel’s destination in the middle of the night.
“The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you…” (Mk 4:24)
“…hear the word” (Mk 4:20)
Daily word. Daily food. A daily love-letter from Him. A manual, an instruction, orientation, word-of-support or just a sign from Him – I love You, I am close to You, I am Your Protector, Savior, Redeemer… If You look at the litanies, you will be amazed how many names He has to express His love to us.
“Hear the word”. One word daily. One minute from your busy schedule to listen to Him, to His word.
When I started to listen to Him as the first thing in my day, I found how it changed my world. You listen differently to the news, to your family, friends and co-workers. You listen to the message, not to the words. You hear the word.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower; all who come to him will live for ever”. (Alleluia versus)
“Anyone who does the will of God, that person is My brother and sister and mother.” (Mk 3:35)
Could you imagine? We can be His siblings. Officially. Anyone.
Well. One condition: “who does the will of God”. And probably you will start thinking about some extremely difficult God’s will which orders you to do some very important choices and will make your life very radical. Maybe you are right. But God’s will, even if it is radical, is simple: “I give you a new commandment: love one another; you must love one another just as I have loved you. It is by your love for one another, that everyone will recognize you as my disciples.” (John 13:34-35). Love one another. This is “the will of God”. Love your wife as Our Lord loves her, love your husband like Our Lord loves him… “Just as I have loved you”.
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth ; you have reviled to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” (Alleluia versus)
“And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never last.” (Mk 3:25)
A divided household.
Ono of the biggest sufferings in family life. A divided couple, divided parents, divided children… The main temptation: I am right. True love is not about who is right. It is about… love. Beyond who is right. What we can do for our children is to give them a united household. United thruough the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of love. When we can’t see, when we can’t hear, when we can’t feel the other person, it is the ultimate time to pray to the Holy Spirit. He will not tell us who is right, He will tell us how to love.
“Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought light to life through the Gospel” (Alleluia versus)
“…at once … followed him” (Mt 4:20.22)
The answer to God’s look – “He saw” (Mt 4:18.21).
God’s look. “He saw…”. When a priest raises Our Lord’s Body and the chalice of His Blood during the Mass, we look at Him, but also He looks at us.
Simon and Andrew, James and John were so radical: “At once”. And Christ’s answer is also so radical – “I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). He recognized future apostles in the fishermen. God’s lookseeing far beyond “now” and what is possible for us to think.
I need new eyes to recognize the true face of my brother/my sister.
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Communion Antiphon; Jn 8:12)
“…you are to be His witness before all humanity, testifying to what you have seen and heard.” (Act 22:15)
Saul. A persecutor. “Sent women as well as men to prison in chains” (Act 22:4).
St. Paul. A witness. “HIS witness before all humanity”.
They look like two different people. From our perspective. From God’s – the same love for Saul and to St. Paul. And He repeats the same message: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15).
Me and St. Me. It sounds like an opposition from our perspective, but not from God’s.
“O God, who taught the whole world through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Paul, draw us, we pray, nearer to you through the example of him, whose conversion we celebrate today, and so make us witnesses to your truth in the world…” (Collect)
“…He appointed twelve; they were to be His companions and to be sent out to proclaim the message,with power to drive out devils.” (Mk 3:14-15)
“He appointed twelve.” And a very simple program for them, including only three elements: “to be His companions, to proclaim the message and to drive out devils”. One “to be” and two “to do”s. How often we concentrate on tasks, on those “to do”, forgetting the most important element – to be, “to be His companions.” This sequence is not accidental. The ancient Romans used to say: “Agere sequitur ease” (action follows being). To be His companions is the foundation for the other activity. As close we are to Him as His “companions” – so fruitful is our proclaiming of the message and our fight against the devil.
“It was not you who chose me, says the Lord, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” (Communion Antiphon)
“…all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch Him.” (Mk 3:10)
To touch Him.
God has become a man. For nine month He was hidden in His Mother’s womb to appear later as a child. He discovered the beauty of the touch. Parental touch, full of love. His innocent Mother and the best father in the world, chosen by God to represent Him.
Today He is curing people with His touch. “All who were afflicted in any way.”
When we take the Bible into our hands, we can also touch Him. It is not only a book, it is He Himself. And in the Sacraments, too. And especially when we receive the Holy Communion. To touch Him. If you go a little bit deeper into the Liturgy of the Mass, you will be surprised how many beautiful gestures we use to celebrate the Mystery of His love. All kneeling down, kisses of the altar, inclinations… And everything is connected with “to touch Him”. He is exactly the same: “Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever.” (Hbr 13:8).
“Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel” (Alleluia verse).
“And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath day, hoping for something to charge him with”. (Mk 3:2)
How awful. “Hoping for something to charge him with”. Again and again the same situation: they can use anybody for their purpose. Even an ill person, who needs help, who needs to be cured. Who needs compassion.
How often are we surrounded by the people who are used by other people: at work, in family, in daily life. Unfortunately sometimes it happens also to us. How sad.
But we have a protector. He has come to save us, to cure us, and to make us part of His family as His brothers and sisters.
He knew their heart. He knew what would happen: “ The Pharisees went out and began at once to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him” (Mk 3:6). And He let His emotions show: “He looked angrily round at them, grieved to find them so obstinate, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was restored” (Mk 3:5).
He is our protector. He will defend us and restore our dignity. The dignity the others sometimes fail to see.
“God our Creator, we give thanks to you, who alone have the power to impart the breath of life as you form each of us in our mother’s womb, grant, we pray, that we, whom you have made stewards of creation, may remain faithful to this sacred trust and constant in safeguarding the dignity of every human life.” (Collect)