One Minute Reflection – 31 January – Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Samuel 11:1-10, 13-17, Psalm 51:3-7, 10-11, Mark 4:26-34 and the Memorial of Saint Francis Xavier Bianchi CRSP (1743-1815) “Apostle of Naples” and St John Bosco (1815-1888)
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed…” … Mark 4:30-31
REFLECTION – “The Word of God is like a grain of mustard seed, before cultivation it looks extremely small. But when it is cultivated in the right way, it grows so large, that the highest principles of both sensible and intelligible creation, come like birds to revive themselves in it. For the principles – or inner essences of all things, are embraced by the Word but the Word is not embraced by anything. Hence, the Lord has said, that whoever has faith like a grain of mustard seed, can move a mountain by a word of command (cf. Mt 17:20), that is, he can destroy the devil’s dominion over us and remove it from its foundation.
The grain of mustard seed is the Lord, who by faith is sown spiritually in the hearts of those who accept Him. Whoever diligently cultivates the seed by practising the virtues, moves the mountain of earthbound pride and, through the power thus gained, expels the obdurate habit of sin. In this way, the activity of the principles and qualities, or divine powers, present in the commandments, is revived as though they were birds. (…) Those who seek the Lord should not look for him outside themselves. On the contrary, they must seek Him, within themselves, through faith made manifest in action.
For it is written, “The word is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart” (Rm 10:8), that is, the word of faith, Christ, being Himself, the word that is sought.” … Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Monk and Theologian – Second Century on Theology, nos. 10-11, 35
PRAYER – Almighty Father, we bless You Lord of life, through whom all living things tend. You are the source of all, our first beginning and our end! Grant holy Father, that we may allow the Word to enter our hearts and grow by Your grace, so that we may always live for Your glory. May the intercession of St Francis Xavier Bianchi and St John Bosco, who consistently tended Your seed, grant us strength and zeal. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.