January 29, 2021
by Mary Lee Brock
Creighton University's Graduate School
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

Hebrews 10:32-39
Psalm 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40
Mark 4:26-34

Praying Ordinary Time

A Matter of the Heart: Prayer as Relationship

In scripture we see Jesus embody so many roles throughout his life including healer, peacemaker, challenger and friend.   I always feel particularly close to and inspired by Jesus when he is in the role of the teacher.  He teaches through his actions and his words.  And as teacher he invites us to listen with our whole hearts and to trust the path forward.

As a gifted teacher, Jesus transforms complex concepts into a lesson we can easily understand.  He often uses parables in his teaching.  In the gospel today from Mark, Jesus uses the parable of the mustard seed to help explain the kingdom of heaven.  The image of a tiny seed growing into a robust plant that offers refuge for the birds from the sky helps transform the abstract concept of the kingdom of heaven into an engaging image.  I am always in awe that each time I hear a parable from Jesus I learn something new.  Today as I pray with the gospel I notice the simplicity of this profound parable.  I also appreciate that Jesus is placing his trust in us to hear the lesson he is sharing.  I also feel a connection to the first reading and the psalms that help create a foundation for my learning.

The first reading from Hebrews offers a reminder to stay strong in our faith:  “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense.  You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.”  I feel a sense of peace that I am like one of the birds of the sky feeling the comfort of the shade of the mustard tree.

Today I pray for the grace to see and receive what God has promised.   I ask for help in deepening my trust in the teachings of Jesus.  As I strive to serve the kingdom of God, I look for ways to be shelter for others as an ally, advocate, neighbor and friend.

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