Joseph Zaborowski, Creighton University's Purchasing Department
The first reading from Hebrews brings me back to a discussion I had with a group of friends a few weeks ago. We were engaged in talking about, how at times, the road of faith is hard. We complained about feeling out of the mainstream of society and the reaction of neighbors and friends when we talked about our faith with passion. Reading the passages from Hebrews hit me like a bolt of lightning. I realize that my faith walk is not really that difficult. In the place and time I’m living I am not facing “public abuse and affliction,” or imprisonment or confiscation of property that is described in the reading from Hebrews. Despite the hardships the reward was great for the original readers of the Letter to the Hebrews and the promise of “possessing life” encouraged the early Christian community as well as myself today. This reward for faithfulness has remained constant for millennium.
The question of how the reading from Hebrews relates to the Parable of the Mustard Seed didn’t seem connected when I read the two. After some reflection I began to see the fulfillment of the promise reflected in Mark’s gospel. The mustard plant described in Mark, judging by description, is actually a mustard bush. It often grew to such large proportions that it could overtake valuable acreage. In Mark we see how from a small beginning the Church grew and became so large that people as birds flocked to it. From a small group of early Christians it grew to over a billion members today. In the end, the Church is there to help me possess the Kingdom of God. I need only remain committed to living by faith.