Saint Paul begins the first reading for mass today talking about suffering. He definitely went through a lot of suffering in his life and by the sound of the first reading for mass today, he handled it extremely well. That’s one reason Saint Paul was a saint, and we aren’t. We are still struggling to overcome ourselves. It’s hard. There is nothing easy about being a Christian and sometimes it can feel like we’ve had a major setback in our growth in holiness, even if it is something small that happens. A very small act of kindness is often remembered more than the big ones, and it is the same way with a small hurtful thing we say to someone, or they say to us. The hurtful comment hurts the person who said it, and the person to whom it was directed to as well.
In Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans, he wrote the word “hope” four times in seven verses of scripture though. That’s really the awesome thing about our Christian faith. Hope. Just saying the word hope, changes your whole outlook on how you view yourself, and how you view the world around you. The words in scripture really are living words.
Saint Paul writes “in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.” The seed of hope was born on Christmas morning, the possibility of new life for us and not just in eternal life, today is a new day for us too. A new chance to set aside any negativity inside of our hearts and let it go. Negativity is a form of slavery and it eats at you like a cancer and is contagious to those around you too. But, because of Christ’s forgiveness, we can forgive ourselves and forgive whoever has hurt us as well. We can choose to let it go. There is such a freedom in choosing to let the past go, along with any negativity that infected our hearts. It is a choice, not a feeling. This is how we are set free from the slavery to corruption. Jesus brought hope to the whole world, but it is our choice to accept it or not.
The last verse of scripture in the first reading for mass says “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.” Hope is a belief in something that has not yet happened. The freedom of our spirit is a decision we make, and at the time we can not see the results, but we do believe in the possibility of peace and happiness. The decision we make to put sin and negativity behind us and seek the good instead, is the seed of hope. One small decision has the power to change our future.
Yes, Jesus talks about seeds in today’s gospel. The tiny little mustard seed grew into a large bush and all the birds of the sky dwelt in it’s branches, and the yeast was mixed with flour until the whole batch of dough rose. The mustard seed and the yeast grew and affected everything else they came in contact with, for the better. It’s funny how one choice, one decision that seems so small at the time can actually mushroom into a major thing. Kind of like how Mary said “yes” to God, and that one decision changed the course of the entire human race. Mary did not see where her decision would lead her at the time though.
Today is a new day. Let us think about the choices we make today and decide anew to seek the good in all that we do. Sometimes people are in such an ingrained, negative state of mind, that just choosing not to think negative thoughts or say anything negative, is a major hurdle, yet is such a victory if they succeed. For some of us, we may not be in a negative mind set, just not really in a positive one. We can go the rest of the way today, if we decide to, and seek out the positive things we encounter in our day today. It’s contagious. Let us try to find the little pebbles of goodness that is sprinkled throughout our day and share them with those around us. The world around us will change too, after we do.
Daily Mass Readings:
Rom 8: 18-25 / Ps 126: 1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6 / Lk 13: 18-21