October 25, 2016
by Eileen Wirth
Creighton University's Department of Journalism, Media and Computing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 480

Ephesians 5:21-33
Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
Luke 13:18-21

Praying Ordinary Time

What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”

Yesterday the Omaha media told the story of efforts to fund a bronze statue at the county courthouse of our city’s “broom man.” Huh? He was a blind African-American minister who walked the streets of downtown selling brooms until he died in his 90’s. He was widely admired for his dignity, courage and kindness.

Just like the man in today’s Gospel who planted a mustard seed that grew into a tree, our “broom man” built the Kingdom daily through inspiring countless strangers.

Most of us don’t wake up thinking, “I’m going to do something today to build God’s Kingdom. Heck, we’re more likely to go through our “to do” lists, hoping we don’t blow too many things. However all of us have the opportunity to help build the Kingdom even when we aren’t consciously doing so. Ironically the people who do it best are often least aware of the seeds they are planting.

I think of Creighton’s beloved cafeteria employee who greeted generations of students with a warm smile and “Hey baby” as they headed for lunch. How many days did she brighten? Are some students kinder to clerks, janitors and restaurant servers because of her? I hope so.  Talk about planting seeds!!!!!!

Who planted a “mustard seed” that grew into something wonderful in your life? Did a supervisor encourage you to pursue a tough goal? Did a teacher or parent guide you onto a path you wouldn’t otherwise have taken? What can this teach you about becoming a “mustard seed” for someone else?

I’ll bet that our “broom man” is in heaven stunned about the impact of the mustard seeds he planted. On a site where you expect to see statues of generals or politicians, we will honor a humble man of God. Think of him next time you’re discouraged then return to your version of selling brooms to build the Kingdom. Who knows what might happen?

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