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Monday, July 31, 2006

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St. Ignatius of Loyola

Jeremiah 13:1-11
Deuteronomy 32:18-21
Matthew 13:31-35

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"The reign of God is like a mustard seed which someone took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest seed of all." —Matthew 13:31-32

The kingdom of God doesn't look like much. It looks as little as a mustard seed or yeast. Therefore, to work in God's Kingdom we must not go by sight, but by faith (2 Cor 5:7). Not only are we unable to see much, but to see anything at all will take some time. Dough rises gradually and mustard seed grows slowly. Therefore, to work in God's kingdom we must persevere for some time. "Whoever puts his hand to the plow but keeps looking back is unfit for the reign of God" (Lk 9:62).

Faith and perseverance are the dynamics of kingdom living. Yet we are a show-me people for whom seeing is believing, an instant people for whom everything must be done almost immediately if done at all. The devil is not only tempting us not to seek first the kingdom, but trying to rob us of the basic foundational virtues of kingdom living. The devil has trained us to look big and think big, and to ignore anything not a fingertip away in a vending machine or a computer. While we get concerned about his throwing rocks at the windows of God's kingdom, the devil is, behind the scenes, ever so quietly dismantling the kingdom's foundation of faith and perseverance.

Prayer:  Father, may I seek first, live for, and die for Your kingdom (Mt 6:33).

Promise:  "I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to Me, says the Lord; to be My people, My renown, My praise, My beauty." —Jer 13:11

Praise:  St. Ignatius of Loyola wanted to fight for the freedom of the Holy Land, but instead was called to fight for holiness in the heart of the Church of Rome.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Staying Filled With the Spirit on audio AV 57-1 or video V-57.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 12, 2005

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