Sunday, June 13, 2021

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year of Saint Joseph

Year of the Family "Amoris Laetitia The Joy of Love"

In other years: Saint Anthony of Padua, Patron Saint of the Lost and Found (1195?-1231)

Readings of the Day

RB: Ch 10 The Arrangement of the Night Office in Summer

Mass: Ezk 17:22-24; Resp Ps 92; 2 Cor 5:6-10; Mk 4:26-34

Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

A few things stimulate scattered reflections on this Sunday in Ordinary Time, reflections which make the day anything but ordinary. In God we trust. 😊

First, it is that mustard seed that Jesus talks about in the Gospel, the mustard seed that is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth yet springs up and becomes the largest of plants (Mk 4:31-32). Second, a little book that I am slowly reading by Bieke Vandederckhove, the taste of silence: how I came to be at home with myself (Liturgical Press, 2015). Bieke (1969-2015), a Belgian, was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 19 that left her paralyzed from the pelvis up. Third, it was turning to my trusty Quotable Saints (Servant, 1992) by Ronda De Sola Chervin. 

There is a chapter in Bieke's book entitled what confuses (pp. 61-65). Her main theme is described well by the title, that "evil is predictable." She writes, "We can analyze it perfectly, explain it in detail. What causes confusion is the good. Goodness is unintelligible, because there is no rational explanation for it" (p. 64). Bieke relates then about the evil in her life, what and how she suffers, her bouts of anger, jealousy and bitterness, callousness and irritability, "all eminently understandable in the context of my life" (p. 65). Then there are people who avoid her, belittle her, show fear or disgust. "The same with evil in the world", she writes, "it's not difficult to explain." Then there is her husband who "against all logic", enjoys Bieke, shares her life, loves her unconditionally. What confuses Bieke is this: "Beyond understanding is the goodness, completely altruistic, that surfaces in the world, everywhere, over and over again" (p. 65). Related to the the tiny mustard seed, how can it, seemingly against all odds, grow to be so big and put forth large branches so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade? (Mk 4:32). 

Well, there is a explanation for all of it and it is put well by Saint Therese of Lisieux (1893-1897): Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love. In God's eyes, the mustard seed is not small, it is enormous. In God's eyes, a small gesture of goodness in a smile or a kind word is huge. The impacts are far-reaching. Perhaps others, along with me, get so caught up in the littleness of everything amidst daily difficulties that we forget that with God, all things are possible. "Perhaps", said Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan (1928-2002, imprisoned for 13 years by the Vietnamese government), "I am only a grain of sand, but every grain has its own place, it special role to carry out-the sole condition is my awareness of this reality and my unity with all others." So whatever your special role is, "do all that you do with love."

Do something good for someone you like least, today.
(Saint Anthony of Padua)


Today's photo: A water lily flower before it disappears.

© Gertrude Feick 2021

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