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Father Muench Says...

Little things in life make a big difference

June 24, 2015

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

I am truly fascinated by the large acres of corn as the plants gradually grow larger and larger during this time of the year.  It seem like the plants are growing before my very eyes. 

As I drive around the North Country these days I often come upon corn fields stretching out as far as I can see.  I, of course, understand how the seeds mature into plants – develop into stalks with the ears of corn. Yet, each year, as I watch again the seeds grow into fields of corn stalks, it seems almost like a miracle.

Recently, in the Sunday Gospel reading, Jesus compares the development of a seed into a plant as an image for the Kingdom of God. 

Jesus spoke often of his goal as the formation of the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God has no country, no boundaries; it is a Kingdom of the Heart.  We, the followers of Jesus, in faith, are united together, united in love, always ready to live like Jesus, Our Lord and Savior.

This month, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The image, the statue or painting, shows the heart of Jesus open and brilliant on his chest surrounded by a crown of thorns.  It was a clear image of the great love that Jesus has for us all, a love that led Jesus to suffer and die for all, a love that wins for us all forgiveness of sins.

As members of the Kingdom of God we pray that we have a heart like that of Jesus.  May others see in each one of us a heart that is brilliant with our love of God and of our neighbor as Jesus asks of us.

In that same Gospel reading Jesus used another parable for the Kingdom of God.  This is where he speaks of the Kingdom of God to be like a mustard seed, that small seed that grows into a large bush. 

The Kingdom of God – we, the People of God – will grow and become strong through little things.  Life is full of many such little things that seem so unimportant, even a bit of a nuisance.  Yet, often, these little things will bring us into the presence of our God.  So, never miss all that you would consider little things.

This continues to be true. The strength of you and I as members of the Kingdom of God is our readiness to respond to the Holy Spirit’s invitation to each one us. We are challenged to do something. Often, it may be something small yet, it may be a powerful effort to bring the love of the Lord to our world ourselves.  In this way, we make the world a better place, we make the Kingdom of God greater and stronger than ever before.

To accomplish this we must truly have an open heart, a heart filled with love so that we can truly be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The leadership of God will come to us in such gentle, often simple ways – such small ways – but each of us will recognize the opportunities.  So we must pray that our heart will be open to the guidance of our Lord and God.

This will indeed require prayer.  We must be people of prayer. In that way, our heart will be open and always ready to follow the lead of our Lord.  This means more than just reciting prayers; it means developing a prayerful spirit in our lives, a prayerful heart that stay opens.

And we will know ourselves whether we are a disciples of the Lord who has a prayerful heart.   Do I calmly take time – quiet time – and allow the Lord Jesus to touch my heart?  Is the guidance and help of the Holy Spirit an ordinary part of my life? Remember always that an important part of prayer – maybe, the most important part of prayer – is listening.  Our prayer should be that we hear the message from the Holy Spirit. 

Do we truly hear God reaching out to us?  Then we all will recognize ourselves as members of the Kingdom of God.

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