Tuesday, October 31, 2006

30th Tuesday in Ordinary Time (II)
Memorial of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez, Religious
The Influence of the Insignificant

If there is one central theme in all of Jesus’ words and works during his earthly ministry, it’s the kingdom of God. Not only does Jesus tell his listeners about the kingdom, he also speaks, acts, lives, dies and rises in such a way that those who follow him are led into the kingdom. The kingdom comes in their lives. In Jesus – in that one brief solitary life lived relatively quietly in an obscure part of the world – the kingdom is announced, inaugurated and experienced. And two thousand years hence, we count ourselves among the beneficiaries. The tiny mustard seed of Christ’s life, death and resurrection – insignificant as it may have seemed at the time – has grown to provide shelter to the birds of the air. The yeast that is Christ’s sacrifice has leavened the dough of our earthly existence – has taught us what it means to be loved and to love.

But Christ’s earthly physical life is no more – or rather isn't as it was before. It is now especially in his Church and through his people that Christ lives on. Not just through the official Church – not just at the Vatican – but especially through the local churches, the parish communities and the churches in miniature, that is, the Christian families, the husbands, wives, children… Ordinary and insignificant though we may seem God continues to desire to establish the kingdom through and in us.

This is evident also in the life of the saint whom we celebrate today: St. Alphonsus Rodriguez. He joined the Jesuits after the deaths of his wife and three children and spent the rest of his life as a sacristan and porter. Yet Alphonsus influenced the spiritual lives of many, including St. Peter Claver, who became the apostle to the slaves of Cartegena.

How is the mustard seed of God’s kingdom growing and giving shelter through our parishes and families today? How might the yeast continue to leaven the dough?

1 comment:

  1. could you pl. post homilies a day earlier so that we could have the reflection early for the current day. Thank you.