27th Sunday Ordinary Time 2013 Mass and Reflections Mustard Seeds and Faith

Scripture readings for today's Mass are here

Various reflections on the readings from St Louis University are here.

Habbakuk sculpture by artist Donatello in Florence

Carl McColman has a fine series of reflections on his blog and these two parts in particular, link well to today's readings: " Exploring The Inner Wasteland " and  "Chaos, Crisis, and the Pursuit of the Vision of God ". An extract of the latter is posted below.

"Contemplation is about pursuing the vision of God, and that pursuit takes us into the heart of things, not things as we wish they were, but things as they really are. 

For God is not a God who hovers above the messy reality of the world, but rather a God of compassion, and love, and care — in other words, a God who plunges deep into the “chaos and crisis” of all the woundedness and brokenness of the world we live in — both in an “external” sense as well as an “internal” sense.

If we truly want the vision of God, we have to look for God where God is — in the midst of things, in the heat of conflict, in the cries of those who suffer, in the lamentations of the poor and the disenfranchised, and in the turmoil within our hearts and minds. 

God is not in the mist of chaos and crisis because God caused such things (theodicy 101: God permits evil because God has granted us free will), but rather because it is God’s nature to be compassionately present in the midst of suffering and pain.

 And this is true whether it is the suffering of a clear-cut forest, a family ravaged by addiction, a nation at war, or a restless heart and mind.

Contemplation is not a tool for achieving inner peace (even though at times it can be a deeply serene practice); rather, it will bring us face to face with all the ways in which we lack true peace and equipoise. Why? Because it is precisely in that place of inner struggle where the vision of God is mostly likely to be found."

Daniel Berrigan S.J. wrote a book "Ten Commandments for the Long Haul."
1) Call on Jesus when all else fails. Call on Him when all else succeeds (except that never happens).

2) Don't be afraid to be afraid or appalled to be appalled. How do you think the trees feel these days, or the whales, or, for that matter, most humans?

3) Keep your soul to yourself. Soul is a possession worth paying for, they're growing rarer. Learn from monks, they have secrets worth knowing.

4) About practically everything in the world, there's nothing you can do. This is Socratic wisdom. However, about of few things you can do something. Do it, with a good heart.

5) On a long drive, there's bound to be a dull stretch or two. Don't go anywhere with someone who expects you to be interesting all the time. And don't be hard on your fellow travelers. Try to smile after a coffee stop.

6) Practically no one has the stomach to love you, if you don't love yourself. They just endure. So do you.

7) About healing: The gospels tell us that this was Jesus' specialty and he was heard to say: "Take up your couch and walk!"
8) When traveling on an airplane, watch the movie, but don't use the earphones. Then you'll be able to see what's going on, but not understand what's happening, and so you'll feel right at home, little different then you do on the ground.
9) Know that sometimes the only writing material you have is your own blood.

10) Start with the impossible. Proceed calmly towards the improbable. No worry, there are at least five exits.



  • My previous posts on the Parable of the Mustard Seed is here and another one can be found here.

These two beautiful videos below show how faith and love gradually enables people to discover that they can stretch beyond their own limitations, boundaries and expectations set by others.

The first one features Jean Vanier who talks about his work at L'Arche community with profoundly disabled people.

 Thanks to Fr. Austin Fleming at A Concord Pastor Comments for posting this one below his FB page earlier this week. Click on image to view.

 I thought I'd finish today's post with a few quotes from Frederick Buechner and back again to Habbakuk.

"Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is.

 In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace."

“Keep on beating the path of God’s door, because the one thing you can be sure of is that down the path you beat with even your most half-cocked and halting prayer, the God you call upon will finally come, and even if he does not bring you the answer you want, he will bring you himself. And maybe at the secret heart of all our prayers that is what we really are praying for.” 

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