Monday, October 24, 2016

The Fruit of Your Handiwork

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By Melanie Rigney

This is a great mystery, but I speak in reference to Christ and the Church. In any case, each of you should love his wife as himself, and the wife should respect her husband.  (Ephesians 5:32-33)

Blessed are you who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways! For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork; blessed shall you be, and favored. (Psalm 128:1-2)

Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.” (Luke 13:18-21)

Lord, sprout the mustard seed that lies within me.

Sometimes, it starts small, like a mustard seed or bit of wheat flour.

Jeanne Jugan was forty-seven, with physical ailments and working as a catechism teacher and caregiver, when she saw Anne Chauvin, an elderly, poverty-stricken blind woman with partial paralysis who was alone in the world. Jugan carried Chauvin home to the apartment she rented with two other women and put her in her own bed. From this small beginning, the Little Sisters of the Poor were born, and today help those in need in more than thirty countries.

Vicki Thorn ministered to a friend who was in great emotional and spiritual pain after an abortion. From this small beginning, Thorn in her mid-thirties founded Project Rachel, an effort to help all those affected by an abortion loss know that the Lord loves them and forgives them for any role they may have played in the abortion when they come to him with a contrite spirit. Since then, the ministry has assisted millions of people around the world.

Lisa Brenninkmeyer was in her mid-thirties, a wife, mother, and convert who was leading women’s Bible study groups but dissatisfied with the materials available because she didn’t feel they tied women closely enough to a personal relationship with Christ and growing their faith. So, she created her own study materials. From this small beginning, Walking with Purpose was born, a women’s Bible study program now in use in hundreds of parishes in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Sometimes, it starts small. Whether it blossoms into national or international ministry is up to the Lord. But the starting is up to us.

Say yes to one small request from the Lord today.

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