The Beginning

The Beginning

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Mustard Seed

It has been awhile since I've written a new post on here. Things have been pretty busy and I have had little time to write anything. But I guess, since this is a blog about what the Capuchin way of life is all about, me having little time says a lot about the way of life. lol. Between 15 hours of ministry a week, 10 hours of class a week, plus all the reading for those classes, and on top of that prayer, cooking, cleaning and trying to find time to just relax life gets to be pretty busy. Last week we had a visiting friar from the New York province come and give a week long class on Scripture. Being able to look at the world behind the text, the world of the text, and the world infront of the text which we all bring to scripture everytime we read it. What does it mean to us today? It was rather interesting. Yet at the same time challenging. For instance do you know the meaning behind Jesus telling the parable of the mustard seed? I thought I did until last week. It was surprising to find out that the real meaning of it isn't what's often preached about on Sundays. What is preached about on Sundays is the world infront of the text. What we can get out of it today. In Jewish history there was a set of laws which eventually became what we know as the Kosher Dietary laws which actually prohibited the planting of mustard seeds. Why? Because they were seen as invasive plants or weeds. And as Jesus says it grows large branches so that birds can come and nest in it. This is what he compared the Kingdom of God to. He compared it to a seed that was illegal to plant and was invasive and brought birds to nest in it. What farmer wants birds around? They destroy everything! Hence why we make scarecrows. So what is he trying to say? The message literally is that the Kingdom of heaven is not kosher. Which for the Jews was a huge challenge. The Kingdom of God is not meant to be something easy. It is a challenge to live it and bring it about. It takes us outside our comfort zones. It removes us from legalistic thinking. It's different. No one likes different. We to easily become comfortable with how things are always done. Myself included. So I learned a lot from this class. And it gave me things to think about. It is very easy to water down scripture and make it look all pretty. But really the Gospels pretty radical messages. Jesus himself was seen as a radical. So much so that they killed Him for it. What does this say for us today? I don't know. It is something we each have to think about. Something I will continue to discern for quite some time.

This last Saturday all of us postulants and our director, Fr. Bill, were invited by the OFM's in Chicago for prayer and dinner. It was a gathering of the 3 first orders of Franciscans. Us Capuchins, the OFM's and the Conventuals. There were probably about 45 all together. About 26 of us alone. So we were definately the majority. It was a great time. After prayer and dinner we ventured downstairs to find out that they had a karaoke machine. So there were about 20 some friars singing karaoke. Yea isn't that an interesting image? lol. It was so much fun. We got to meet and talk to different guys from the different orders and come together as a Franciscan family. Me and Michael, the guy from the Canadian Capuchin Province, stayed in Chicago overnight. We stayed at the post-novitiate house in Chicago. I always enjoy staying over and visiting there. It's a very young house which is a nice change of scenery for me being the youngest guy here in the house in Milwaukee. We left Sunday around noon and came back to having to prepare for presentations we have to give this week. This week is the Life of Francis with Fr. Bill. We each are giving presentations on a person or theme from the life of Francis. Mine is on Bishop Guido who was the bishop of the time of Francis. Let's just say things haven't changed much from college. I am still a huge procrastinator. I was up till 2am working on mine and then I didn't even have to give it today. O well. At least its done.

This weekend the postulants from the New York province will be here and we travel up to St. Lawrence, the high school seminary, up about an hour and a half north of here in Mt. Calvary Wisconsin. So I'm sure I will have lots to write about after that.

Peace and all good,

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