Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time - Fr. Pete Iorio
June 12, 2021 - 5:00 PM
June 13, 2021 - 8:30 AM
A young man, who was very dedicated to social causes, once asked: “Do you really think that God cares whether or not you say your morning prayers, or whether or not you hold some small grudge, or whether or not you are always polite to your colleagues, or whether or not you are always chaste sexually? That’s petty, small, private stuff that deflects attention off of the bigger moral issues.”
Well, I believe that God does care, and that God cares a great deal because, in the end, we care about these issues. The small things, as the parables of Jesus illustrate, affect life a great deal.
Jesus consistently preached on the Theme of The Kingdom of God. He taught us to pray for the Kingdom in The Lord’s Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come, we all know it. But one thing that is important to understand is that when we pray for the Kingdom to Come, it is not some future event at the end of time or at the end of our lives. Jesus preached that the Kingdom is here now on earth. The Kingdom of God is not some grandiose thing either. We can identify it and bear fruit from it if we pay attention to the small things because small things matter.
Jesus said that the Kingdom of God is small like the mustard seed. So small acts of love and kindness, tolerance and compassion are like small mustard seeds. These small things form a way of living by simple people who are filled with faith and come together to live the gospel and form community. That does make a difference. God looks to the little things we do to change others and the world. One person, one kindness, one act of love at a time.. When we do these small acts of love, just sometimes, not always, we will see the positive effects or fruits of our loving kindness here on earth. My faith tells me that for sure, I will see the effects of my actions when my judgement day comes at the end of my earthly life… good and bad.
The Kingdom of God, as Jesus assures us, is about mustard seeds, about small seemingly unimportant things, but which, in the long run, are the big things. Seeds require time to grow so patience and perseverance are required.
Patience is tolerance as well as action. I need to learn to tolerate what I cannot change, especially differences in people, but I can act to make things better when I can. A tiny bit can make a difference. As protagonists of the Kingdom of God, our role is to do the little things that make things better for all. The world is certainly not perfect, nor are we. I have to admit there is good and bad in me. God is a merciful judge helping us bring the good out. We must work little by little through our faults and failings to live the Kingdom of God.
Most everything in our world urges us to think big and to be careless about small things. The impression is given us that what is private in our lives is little and unimportant. But what is played out on the smaller stage of life – in the more domestic areas of family, marriage, and our exchanges with our neighbors and colleagues – is important for people of faith.
For us, private morality, private grudges, the little insults that we hand out, our many angers and resentments, the small infidelities within our sexual lives, the many little acts of selfishness, and, conversely, the small acts of sacrifice and selflessness that we do and the little compliments that we hand out, these matter greatly to God and building up of the Kingdom.