Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so that a runner may read it.
My grandmother always had a jar of mustard seeds in her seasoning cabinet. She used them for cooking but mostly for pickling. She'd always put some mustard seeds in the pickle jar.
And, if you had a bad cold and were very congested, she would grind them into a paste and smear some on one of my grandfather or uncle's old flannel shirts. She called it a "Mustard Plaster."
I'm not sure how it worked, exactly. All I know is that after 24 hours of wearing that Mustard Plaster, you'd be breathing freely again. Well, that and sitting at the table hunched over a steaming hot bowl of water into which my grandmother would float a big glob of Vicks Vapo Rub, sitting under a 'tent' of a thick terry cloth towel or a flannel shirt.
Come to think of it, maybe it was the flannel that had medicinal properties.
Anyway, the other thing to know is that that teeny-weeny tiny mustard seed produced one of the largest trees in the plant kingdom. I'm talking HUGE. Ask the kids in the Church School. I just showed them a picture.
So, Jesus is saying that we need a teeny-weeny tiny mustard seed that will grow into a huge tree that will be no match for the mulberry tree.
I have a friend who lives in Paterson, NJ who tells me that there are lots of mulberry trees in that city. Apparently, they were all planted in the 19th century.
“I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you. . . .”.We often sell ourselves short but we all - every single last one of us - have this gift of at least a mustard seed of faith within us. There are ordinary people – just like you and me – who do extraordinary things.
The news is always all bad - it's what sells paper and airtime - so we may not pay it much attention, but, just this week, there were several stories about ordinary people who put their mustard seed of faith into action, with some pretty amazing results.
To the amazement of everyone in the room, he did just that.
I'm quite certain that they knew that their embrace of a murderer would bring them criticism. They knew what they were doing was controversial. And yet, they did it anyway.
It reminds me of the story many of us heard this week on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi who came upon a leper as he rode around the countryside. According to the story, Francis got off his horse and met the leper. He embraced him and gave him a kiss of peace - some say, he kissed him on the mouth - and then the leper embraced him in return.
I don't know whether or not that story is true, but I do know that the three stories I saw unfold on my television set were true.