Small actions have great impacts. In today’s gospel, Jesus uses the parable of the mustard seed to describe the kingdom of God. A mustard seed is so small that it is hard to believe anything will grow from it. One small act of kindness can change the entire world and vice versa. One negative act can also alter the world too, but not in a positive way. We are challenged to practice small acts of kindness to live out our discipleship. To smile at someone, say hello, let someone in in traffic, hold open a door, offer to help someone struggling with a bag at the grocery store…all these small acts change the world and the Kingdom of God shines forth a little more. Every negative act will create a world that is drifts away from the Kingdom. Our angry words, name calling, the attitudes we may have toward others grows a world that reflects less and less the Kingdom of God.
We, as a Church, are called to do small courageous acts to build the Kingdom. Our call as disciples of Jesus is to plant the seeds of love, justice and peace as St Paul describes the Kingdom of God. We are to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. In the Hebrew Scripture, the nation had forgotten the mandates of the covenant and the prophet uses the imagery of God chopping off a part of the tree and replanting so that it reflects the covenant. One of the main charges of the people was to take care of the poor, the widow, the orphan and the alien. This is also the charge of the new People of God….. you and me. No matter where a person stands on the immigration issues in the country today, children being separated from the parents goes against the spirit of the Gospel. My concern is totally about these children and the effect the separation will have. A debate about the law or what the parents have done is for another time and place. Cardinal Daniel Dinardo of Galveston-Houston and Bishop Joseph Vasquez of Austin, Texas, at the June meeting of the Bishop’s Conference wrote: Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”
Vatican II calls us to be the salt and leaven to society. Small grains of salt can be an irritant. A small amount of leaven changes the flour and water into bread. It is a scary prospect to speak out but remember today’s second reading…”We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
My brothers and sisters, I take the risk today to ask you to do a small action to protect these children and I challenge myself to do the same. I take a risk that you may not like what I have said or leave the parish. But, in my opinion, no action is not an option. As God’s people, our mandate in rooted in Jesus himself: What so ever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do to me.