Mustard seeds are teeny, tiny things. Similarly, poor, 'irrelevant,' 'insignificant' people--square pegs in a round hole world--appear as teeny and tiny people to the world of the 'big' and 'important' person. But teeny, tiny mustard seeds produce giant shrubs; likewise, the patience and hope (and tears) of the 'insignificant' produce an even more impressive foliage than the mustard seed in the contemporary manifestation of the blessed suffering of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
"For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance." Romans 8:18-25
Lucky are those who see love and acceptance and success and happiness on this earth. Blessed are they if they share God's graces with the poor. By the poor I mean not only the monetarily poor, but also the emotionally and spiritually and socially bankrupt people. Doubly blessed, however, are those who see no love, no acceptance, and no success--therefore no temporal happiness--but still believe in God's Love, hope in God's promises, and Love from the little love they receive.
Blessed are those who take a mustard seed of the world's compassion and turn it into the tree which bore our Savior.
"Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves." Psalm 126:1-6
Patience is a virtue which the comfortable verbally throw around with empty piety. Patience is found in the scars on the whipping boy's (or girl's) back, which inspire them to persevere. Hope is an expression of a spirit filled with the Spirit of the One who was whipped, beaten, and nailed to a tree for someone else's sake. Why else would some square pegs, after years of trying to fit into a round hole world, not forfeit God's square plan for them and submit in becoming round to please men? Martyrs are these square pegs. Unnoticed, unappreciated fellow parishioners may also be likewise squared. Tears are part of their strength.
"Jesus said, 'What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.'" Luke 13:18-21
When Jesus picked an analogy to the Kingdom of God he did not pick a mountain, or a constellation, or a majestic beast, but a tiny, seemingly insignificant mustard seed. Likewise, when the Word made flesh became man, he did not pick Rome or Babylon or Greece as his hometown, but a little hick town called Nazareth. Likewise, worldly kings are not saints by power or muscle. Saints, however, like St. Therese of Lisieux, are saints by their littleness in the Bigness of God. Mary, the Mother of God, moreover, exemplifies this in a most excellent way as 'the handmaid of the Lord.'
So, my fellow suffering mustard seeds. Take heed. Jesus calls us to die, and to give birth in the dirt (humus-humility) to life everlasting through our patience, our hope, and our tears--which water the square peg of our suffering--giving blossom to the Red rose of our life in the image of Christ Crucified and Risen.
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