11 of the Year b
today seem to praise what is small – the mustard seed which begins small, and
the ‘Lord, who makes the low trees grow, and the withered green’.
God is also
praising the normal development of life which is gradual. We start as babies,
family love grows over the years, romance starts with a glance or a look and
develops. The best in life has small beginnings.
Maybe God’s way
of judging us and the world is different than we might imagine. A Jesuit
preacher once said that ‘Jesus says feed my sheep; he doesn’t say count
them’! One of his best stories was
leaving ninety-nine sheep alone while he searched for the lost one. Each is
relevant, loved and important.
The individual is
important – a big message of Jesus. Each person is loved and valued for who he
or she is. The smallest love in our lives is worth millions in the eyes of God.
He sees our efforts at love, goodness and forgiveness as well as our successes.
If we can see
everyone like this we are almost like a shelter for people, as the mustard seed
grew big enough to shelter the birds of the air. God shelters us in the love we
share with others.
We never know
when the harvest of our goodness will be seen. With God if we do the best we
can to grow in goodness and in love, and in the following of his gospel, the
harvest will be reaped and we may never know it.
People in the
caring professions know this, as do parents, that we never know where what we
have tried to do in love and care for others is never wasted. This Jesus believed about his life, that
death and all that this death involved would lead to resurrection.
Keep me safe O Lord, ion your protection, keep me growing in your love and secure in
your constant care.
Donal Neary SJ.