The Word of God

Mustard Miracles

Reflection on Mass Reading for October 6, 2019

“The rash one has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.” This morning we have been served a most excellent meal of wisdom and insight that cannot be wasted. The morsel of truth and clarity are buried, as it were, like a pearl among the refuse of shell and sand waiting for us to discover its most precious beauty. Enlightenment that is true and sustainable does not come at the hands of sorcery, pills or clandestine self-help puzzles but by suffering and self-emptying of selfishness and ego-driven lives. We know this to be true because Jesus lived in this very same way producing not only our salvation but the very path upon which we would find hope and serenity for the days and years to come, however more we may have left. “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.”

The Gospel of today also provide for us a time-honored image for the Kingdom for which we need this clarity and insight: “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.” This ever-popular Gospel passage should also enthuse those cooking aficionados among our readers. Is anyone aware of the various uses of mustard, other than being spread on hot dogs, hamburgers, and sandwiches? The following may send you searching through the internet to secure the validity of these claims. It has been used as a mild burn relief; a cosmetic face mask for skin rejuvenation; relief for sore muscles and sore throat; and the removal of the toxic and awful odor of the shrewd skunk in case you find yourself ever-too-close and sprayed with mayhem. Living in the Kingdom means relief from the scorching rays of a hostile world and facing it with renewed vigor and the glow of the Spirit. It means relief from the wear and tear on our bodies as we desperately travel the moral roads through unknown lands while bravely clearing our throat to preach the Gospel, in season and out. It also means throwing off the stench of sinfulness and accepting the sweetness of forgiveness freely and mercifully offered in confession. Accept all the wonderful promises Jesus has made to you and those you love and ask for the courage to walk in light and carry your faith to all aspects of your life. We follow a crucified Lord and Savior who found His way out of the grave to set us free from all the other elements of death and sadness that are placed in it. May today’s reflection put a smile on your face and help you keep going. “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”

Life is wasted if we do not grasp the glory of the cross, cherish it for the treasure that it is, and cleave to it as the highest price of every pleasure and the deepest comfort in every pain. What was once foolishness to us—a crucified God—must become our wisdom and our power and our only boast in this world. John Piper

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