My soul rejoices in my God. My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken,
from your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power,
and come to save us.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see;
take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
May your help be with the man of your right hand,
with the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
Then we will no more withdraw from you;
give us new life, and we will call upon your name
Every once in a while a reading from Mass will stick with me. Really stick. It gets into my heart and mind. I look it over, think it over, dream it over. Yesterday’s Gospel (Mt. 13: 24-43) was just such a reading.
It resonated with me because it illustrates for me how we faith-full bloggers and social media mavens ought to approach our time and efforts online. We should be sowing good seed. That doesn’t mean proselytizing everyone. It means being the leavening. Lifting people up. Being positive, comforting, joyful. Loving everyone. Willing their good.
Too many of my Catholic friends feel that they must pull up the weeds.
Jesus teaches, in yesterday’s reading from the Gospel that we are to work gently, quietly, faithfully. He tells us this using three different parables. The parable of the wheat and weed suggests that in pulling up the weeds – the people who are doing the will of Satan – we may also destroy ourselves and be good for nothing. At harvest, the wheat and weeds will be sorted out by the angels.
Trust that the wheat seed will grow and thrive.
“The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed…” The Gospel of Life is small and humble. It is simple. Yet when it is nurtured, it grows into something great that outshines all other worldly messages. When we show, through sharing our lives, the goodness of God, and when people witness our gentle ways, that mustard seed will grow into something glorious, and we will attract the ‘birds of the air’, who will come and ‘collect seed’ and spread it somewhere else. Our branches are the people who share our posts or status updates, the birds are those who are inspired by us to write their own blogs and inspirational messages.
Grow where you are planted, let your branches spread wide, and welcome those who will share your inspiration.
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast…” When we share the simple message of love with our readers, when we are living a small life taken up with mothering and being faithful partner to our husbands, it can seem like we aren’t making impact in the world. Not so. The third parable tells of a woman making loaves of bread. If you’ve made a yeast bread before, you know that the measure of yeast is very small compared with that of flour. Yet when water is added and it is left to prove, and when we knead the dough, that little bit of yeast lifts the dough to twice (or more) what it would be without leavening. Sharing your life with readers, your small faith-filled life, uplifts others. We are small compared with the world, compared with ‘popular society’, yet our small voice can uplift it. Without our small voices, our humble lives of faith and faithfulness, society won’t grow at all.
Let the world knead on over and around us, it will allow our uplifting message to make a greater impact.
We don’t need to be big or ‘special’. We only need to RECOGNIZE the beauty of every day life for the marvelous, precious gift that it is, and then share that. Be grateful and joyful in the sharing. Be honest about the trials in life. We all have them and it is good to acknowledge that. But seek the blessing in the trial and share it so that others may be uplifted in their own sufferings, and, in turn, share the blessings in their own difficulties with others.
I started writing this story back in 2008 on my original lenten blog. It has been on my heart, though I had set it aside. I wasn’t sure that it was a story that anyone cared to read. And then our hard drive crashed awhile back, I feared that the original had been lost forever. And I let it go… Until a friend sent me a message asking about it, and whether I had written any more. Six years later. It had touched her and she saved a copy. I asked her if she could send it to me. And lo! she found it in the archives of my old blog and sent the link. Here it is. I hope that it blesses you as much as it did me in re-reading it.
She stands by the doorway holding in her hands a sack of bread and dried figs, and an extra robe to keep Him warm. He has said that he must leave on an important journey, one that will fulfill the Will of His Father. There isn’t much time to prepare, and she remembers the story of her ancestors fleeing into the desert, without enough time to even allow the bread to rise. She smiles. Her heart swells with love for Him. He has grown into a fine man. Joseph would be proud.
He comes in from bathing in the well, His hair is still wet and His robe smells of lavender and sunshine, just as His clothes have done since He was a babe. Once again, her heart overflows.
“I have packed you some bread and some figs so that you won’t be hungry. And here is an extra robe to keep you warm. These spring nights can be so cold,”
“Woman”, he says smiling “you spoil me.”
“Yes, but it is only because I love you so”, Mary smiles back.
He takes the sack and the robe tenderly from her hands. She gazes up into His soft brown eyes, those beautiful eyes, then reaches up and tweaks His beard.
“Kol tuv”, she says.
He reaches for her hand, which is still resting on his cheek, and squeezes it.
“L’hitraot”, He replies with a wink, and steps out into the lane.
The neighbours are busily going about their daily business. Some look up and wave a greeting to Jesus as He sets out. Mary watches Him make his way down the street. He stops at the end of the lane to talk to a little girl. Her mother, Rivka has been very ill and Mary reminds herself to stop by with some lentil soup.
She wakes from her reverie in time to see Jesus hand his sack of food to the child, laying his hand on her head as if in blessing. He tosses His robe over one shoulder and walks on, the sun creating an aureole in the curls of His hair.
She feels a bitter sting in her nose and a tear rolls from the corner of her eye. She wipes it away with her veil, not understanding why she should be so emotional. She gathers herself, takes a deep breath of the fragrant spring air and steps back into the house to attend to her chores…