The Potential of a Mustard Seed

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Saturday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Memorial of St. Dominic, Priest

Matthew 17:14-20

When they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt down before him, and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me.” Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, I look to you with faith, knowing that you are the Creator. All things are possible to you and those who believe in you. Grant me a faith that can move mountains, a hope that perseveres to the end, and a love that gives without limit. 

Encountering Christ:

  1. “Nothing Will Be Impossible…”: These words rang true for St. Dominic who founded the Order of Preachers, otherwise known as the Dominicans, in 1215 and received formal permission from the Vatican in 1216. He did so at forty-five years of age, after battling heresies and living a life of prayer and fasting. He felt the Lord calling him to establish an order devoted to eradicating heresy. Members of the Dominican order lived a strict life of prayer, penance, and study so as to prepare men to preach the truth and defend the faith intellectually. They are known as the Order of Preachers.
  2. Faith Is Required: “After the disciples were unable to cure the lunatic, the man’s father went to Jesus begging for a cure. Jesus responded, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you?” In order to do the impossible, as Jesus did, faith is required. Faith is no small feat and it does not come automatically.We must beg the Lord for faith. It grows daily through small acts of faith, through surrendering to God in little things. As our faith grows, we are able to hand over small and large problems to him as well. The more we place at Our Lord’s feet, the more peacefully we live each day.
  3. Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed: St. Dominic was able to do great things because of his faith. Jesus shares his redemptive mission with those who believe. A mustard seed is the smallest of seeds. A seed is planted and grows with proper care—water, sunlight, and rich soil. The seed of faith is planted in each baptized person. Cultivating that seed through prayer, spiritual nourishment, and Christian community can cause it to grow into the largest of bushes, providing shade, oxygen, and other natural or supernatural resources. What does your faith need to be properly nourished? 

Conversing with Christ: Dear Jesus, help me remember to attend to the seed of faith you planted in me, providing all the elements it needs to grow. 

Resolution: Lord, today I will take a moment to read Scripture, pray personally over it, and share a spiritual insight with someone in the hope of mutually edifying each other in the faith. 

For Further Reflection: The life of St. Dominic offers much food for prayer and thought. https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=178.

Written by Renee Pomarico.

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