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Friday, January 27, 2012

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St. Angela Merici

2 Samuel 11:1-4, 5-10, 13-17
Psalm 51:3-7, 10-11
Mark 4:26-34

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think big

The kingdom of God "is like mustard seed which, when planted in the soil, is the smallest of all the earth's seeds, yet once it is sown, springs up to become the largest of shrubs, with branches big enough for the birds of the sky to build nests in its shade." —Mark 4:31-32

For centuries, Christians have talked and heard about the parable of the mustard seed. However, the point of the parable in Mark's Gospel is not only the smallness of the mustard seed, but also the largeness of the mustard shrub "with branches big enough for the birds of the sky to build nests in its shade" (Mk 4:32). Thus we can rightly speak of the parable of the mustard shrub.

The Lord wants us to think big. This doesn't necessarily mean that we should "begin big" or be frustrated if our work doesn't "look big." However, we should "end big," that is, we should bear fruit abundantly (Jn 15:5) and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).

We think big and want to share the Gospel with large numbers of people because these large numbers are not just large numbers; they are people. Because we love God, we love people — all people and each person. Because we love all people and each person, we want all to be saved (1 Tm 2:4) and not one lost (Mt 18:14). In love, we want as many people as possible (1 Cor 9:19) to come to Jesus. We think big because Jesus is Love and we love Him and each and every person He loves. In love, think big.

Prayer:  Father, may I lead many thousands into your kingdom. May I lead at least one person to You today.

Promise:  "Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness; in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me." —Ps 51:3-4

Praise:  St. Angela's plain-clothed Ursulines promoted Catholic home-schooling almost 500 years ago.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 27, 2011

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