© Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church 2010

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 17, 2018
It has long been my opinion that if Jesus had lived here in California, the parable for today would not be that of the mustard seed, but that of the Giant Sequoia, for while the mustard plant may be grown from a small seed, the sequoia tree begins from an equally small seed and yet, grows into the the largest living thing on the planet.  Whats more, sequoia trees do not die.  As long as they can maintain their balance and their root systems are not undermined, they will continue to grow, increasing in size until something causes them to topple over.  Sequoias do not die and fall over, they fall over and then die.  
The gospel for today speaks of the mustard plant growing from a tiny seed into a large plant in which birds of the air can dwell.  While this parable that Jesus tells is an analogy of how the tiny seed of faith in our lives can grow to incredible proportions if it is properly nurtured in prayer Word and sacrament, there is also the message of hope that comes from having our faith grow and do something that is enriching and life-giving.
Life giving faith is confident faith. As we looked at the example of St. Paul last week, again we look to his example now, realizing that even though he faced great obstacles in preaching and living his life and faith in Jesus Christ, he was still confident in all that he said and did because he knew that the truth of the gospel and what it promised was greater than any hardship he would endure on earth.  
As we learned last week, Saint Paul had every reason to walk away from his calling to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, having been shipwrecked, stoned, beaten, hungry, betrayed, forsaken and more, but he kept saying “Yes” to the call of Jesus, when many others would have said, “No”.  
In reflecting upon this example, it is a reminder that when positives in our lives become negatives, when plans become disappointments, even when life itself can become tenuous, we need to remind ourselves of what Saint Paul tells us, when he says, “We are always confident, for we walk by faith and not by sight.”  
This translates into living a confident faith that is active, vocal and a purposeful reflection in our daily lives of our vision toward eternity.  It doesn’t just mean being optimistic about things when life is difficult, but rather, it is to live a life in witness to Jesus risen from the dead, realizing that in Him and through Him, we live and move and have our being.  It means living a life that looks beyond what we can see, to a life that is greater than anything and everything we can see or even imagine.  It is always remaining focused on Jesus and His promise of eternal life and saying yes to it, even when things become difficult.
Living a confident faith is simply, but profoundly saying “Yes” to Jesus Christ in every moment of life.  Such confidence is not a slogan or an attitude, but a reality made new by the One who died and rose again.  To be always confident is to know that God loves us and will never let us go and that this is accomplished by taking the seed of faith, and then enriching it inactive prayer, word and sacrament that will then grow into in a confident, flourishing and vibrant faith, that will never diebut will lead us into eternal life.