27th Sunday in Ordinary Time C

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.”  An astonishing accomplishment for so little faith.  Yet, is the uprooting of mulberry trees and their repositioning in the sea really the superpower we really crave?  It is not as cool or useful as invisibility or flying for instance.  But that said, if that were my superpower I would have used it all the time just to show I could.  I would have planted mulberry trees just to prove I could uproot them and send them to their new home in the ocean.

I say would have because I am not sure that would be a priority for me now.  When you are younger, or when just beginning a new ministry or job which you have been dying to do for years, you do the type of things that establish identity; making sure everyone knows what you are capable of.  Now, those things seem less important to me.  I am more aware of Jesus’ warning to the Pharisees who love to be acknowledged in public (and I am deeply shamed by how many people I waved hello to at the Fall Festival).  I want to experience true humility.

I don’t know where we got the idea that humility meant lying.  For example, if you have made a great meal there is no need to dismiss a compliment or if you have a great singing voice, do not insist that it is nothing special. To do so is not to neglect your gift; it makes nothing of the gift of God that is you.  Instead those are the moments to be aware of how blessed we are. When we honor each other, we are actually acknowledging the Spirit of God within the other.  True humility is not denying our talents and gifts.  True humility is acknowledging who has given us these gifts.  It is defined by St. John the Baptist.  “I must decrease while he [Christ} must increase.”

Now it is more important for me that people hear Christ’s words and not mine. That my best actions are nothing but a witness of the grace Christ gave to me and that my only loving is Christ’s love.  If they see anything else, I have not succeeded.  For ultimately, we are nothing more than a sacrament, a symbol pointing toward the God who allowed us to bless, cherish and love.  To the God who blesses, cherishes and loves us.

For when we lift people up, it is only through the strength of Jesus Christ that we can.  When we console one another and help to heal their wounds, the soothing comes from the heart of Christ.  And when we promise to forgive, to sacrifice and give ourselves in love, it is only possible because we have been forgiven, sacrificed for and given totally in love by the Son if God who died and rose for us.  Let us point our lives to God.  It is only way to show the way to true beauty.