Monday, July 30, 2012

Cling to Me

Cling to Me

July 30, 2012
Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Thus says the LORD: So also I will allow the pride of Judah to rot, the great pride of Jerusalem.  This wicked people who refuse to obey my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts, and follow strange gods to serve and adore them, shall be like this loincloth which is good for nothing.  For, as close as the loincloth clings to a man's loins, so had I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the LORD; to be my people, my renown, my praise, my beauty.  But they did not listen.  Jeremiah 3:9 -11

"The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened."  Matthew 13:33


Father, help us make your Kingdom rise up and grow.  Lord, bless me and break me and serve me as a warm morsel to ease the pains of hunger in the world.  Holy Spirit, gather up my fragments and pass those on to those who continue to want what we have in abundance. 


The Kingdom of God is already here.  However, our stubbornness of heart, our strange gods of the Internet and the brewery and the shopping mall and the easy chair crowd out the Lord from his rightful place in our lives.  But that does not stop Him.  The Lord will continue to work on us like the woman baking bread.

There is a little of the Kingdom inside all of us that -- given the right conditions -- will grow.  The small package of yeast (as little as three teaspoons) needs some water, salt, and oil, the right temperature and some darkness and some flour and, last but not least, a little time before it comes dough.  The Lord has a lot of tools at His disposal.  He uses the beauty of nature, the love of others, the sacraments, the scripture, and his own friendship to convince us to do the work he has for us.  

Once the dough is made, the job is not over.  There is the kneading, the rolling, oiling the pan, flouring the pan, preheating the oven.  Baking bread is not an easy task.  Nor is it a short task that we can accomplish in this microwave age. 


Even when the spirit of the Lord is within us and growing, we still need some kneading in the hands of the Lord.   The Lord still must continue to form us in the gifts of piety, study and action.  We must cling to the Lord like dough clings to the fingers of the baker.  

Even after we are fully baked into tasty loaves, the Lord then has to decide how to use us.  Will we be among the few loaves that the little boy will share with the Lord to feed the 10,000 people?  Will we be the bread for the world shared with those who do not have the blessing of abundance?  Or will we be the break broken and shared with the cup of wine to the eleven remaining disciples at the Last Supper?  Will we open their eyes as they feast on breakfast at the beach?  Will we open their ears as they share a meal after the long walk to Emmaus?

Where are you in the Lord's bakery?  Are you still yeast raising under cheesecloth?  Are you ready to be tested in the heat of the ovens of life?  Are you ready to be put out on a shelf as a tasty treat for the people who hunger to find the presence of the Lord in this world? 

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