Had you faith the size of a mustard seed...

On the left, a mulberry tree... on the right, a mustard seed in a necklace setting...

One of our deacons preached at the 5:00 Mass this evening so my first homily on these scriptures will be at 7:30 in the morning and again at 11:30 (another deacon will preach at the 9:30 liturgy).

These are what's known in the trade as "tough readings." They are not particularly well known, the message is neither immediately apparent nor explained by Jesus himself in a "sidebar" with the disciples. They also raise questions that are beyond being difficult to answer. Here are questions that may have no answer. Habakkuk demands answers of the Lord, answers to his misery and suffering. The Lord in turn tells him to hang on to a vision of hope, to write it down, to wait for it - that it will not be late in coming.

But I will preach these scriptures to some who are hanging on to hope by a thread and who ask, with Habakkuk, for answers that don't seem to come their way.

Although we follow the One foreshadowed in the Hebrew scriptures as the Suffering Servant, whose image of suffering hangs directly in the center of and over our tables of word and sacrament, we still cry out for answers and healing that are so often painfully slow in arriving.

So, I ask you to pray for me that what I believe the Lord has given me in my homily might find its healing path into the hearts and hopes of those who hear me.

Every weekend, and especially on Sundays of "tough readings," I pray that the Lord will fill in the wide unanswered spaces and questions my preaching fails to reach.

So, please pray for your preacher wherever you are, and pray for those who will hear your preacher's words.


  1. Dear God,
    I am feeling sad and frustrated. I wanted to "find" a very special prayer for Fr. Fleming. Please hear what is deep in my heart and what I cannot find words to say. Thank you.

  2. Ah, but your desire to find a prayer was a prayer in itself. St. Ignatius tells us that even when we don't want to pray, the desire to want to want to prayer suffices and God hears that. And you began by WANTING to pray. God heard you and I'm grateful...

  3. Sometimes it seems like all the faith I can muster, seems smaller then a mustard seed. That happens a lot more than I care to own up to.
    Way too many of those days or times.


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