27 Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 6, 2019
In his little book entitled: Letter to a Suffering Church, (Click on SufferingChurchBook.com) Bishop Robert Barron points out that: In His inaugural address in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus says, simply enough, “metanoite,” which is usually rendered as “repent,” but the word literally means “go beyond the mind you have.”
This clarification seems to be a good starting point with which to approach today’s Gospel. Ambitious for greater faith, the apostles ask The Lord for some tips. Drawing from the images of nature, as He often did, Jesus uses the tiniest of seeds, as well as the sprawling mulberry tree, to explain the limitless power of faith.
What He might just as well have said is: “metanoite”…“go beyond the mind you have.” Don’t settle for the seed of faith that was implanted within you when The Creator called you into life. Summon into fullness all of the potential with which you were born. Awaken the tiny seed that rests dormant in your hearts and feed it, nurture it, protect and prune it, so that it grows into a majestic tree that stands tall and proud within the forest of humanity. And then, at the proper time, you will have the strength and power to “transplant” what you have grown…into The Kingdom.
In our Second Reading, St. Paul uses a different image to teach the same lesson. Don’t be content with a dying fire…stir into flame the gift of God...and enjoy the power that is awakened by simply tending to embers that otherwise would die out…leaving cold, dark ash.
But here is the twist.
Once the power is awakened…”stirred into flame”…its potential realized…it is then, and only then, that we can go beyond the mind we have and follow the example of Jesus, enslaving ourselves to the will and the ways of Almighty God. The notion of indenturing oneself to another, especially when we feel powerful and in control, runs contrary to human nature. But, by word and example, Jesus teaches us that our power and strength must be unconditionally committed to God.
This is a leap of faith that uproots the mind from the forest of human nature to be replanted in the infinite ocean of love that is God.
Say that again! How can we increase our faith?
Metanoite…repent the lack of trust in, and commitment to, the will of God, and then >“go beyond the mind you have,” enslaving yourself to God’s ways.