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Jan 31st
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Christians, like leaven in dough, are called to transform the world from within
Christians, like leaven in dough, are called to transform the world from within PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Sunday, 29 July 2007 01:38

The Lord teaches us in today’s Gospel that the kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened (Matt 13:31-35). The people listening to our Lord were quite familiar with this phenomenon. They had witnessed it many times in their own homes. By mixing a tiny quantity of yeast into a mass of dough, one would soon have a good loaf of bread.

In reflecting upon this comparison, we should first consider how little leaven is needed in order to transform the mass of dough. Despite outside appearances, the effect of the small portion of yeast is surprisingly great. This thought should lead us to be daring in the apostolate, since the power behind the Christian ferment is not merely human; it is the power of the Holy Spirit acting in the Church. In addition, the Lord takes our limitations and frailties into account. Is yeast, by its nature, better than dough? No. But it is what makes the dough rise and become good and nourishing food. Reflect a moment, even if only in general terms, on the way yeast works in the making of bread - that simple, staple food which is available to everyone. In many places (you yourselves may have seen it done) the baking process is like a real ceremonial, ending up with a splendid product that you can almost taste with your eyes. They start with good flow Of top quality if possible. Then the dough is worked in the kneading-trough and the yeast is mixed in. It is a long and patient job. The dough must now be left to rest; this is essential for the leaven to do its work and make the dough rise. Meanwhile, the oven is made ready, its temperature rising as the logs of wood burn bright The risen dough is placed in the glowing oven and turns into high quality bread; wonderfully light and fresh. This result would never have been possible had it not been for the small amount of leaven, which dissolved and disappeared among the other ingredients, working effectively and passing unnoticed (J. Escrivá, Friends of God, 257). Without this little bit of leavening yeast, the mass of dough would have been something use less and inedible. In the course of our daily lives we can be the cause of light or darkness, joy or sadness, peace or anxiety. We can be a dead weight holding people back or the ferment that transforms the mass of dough. Our life time on earth is not something indifferent. We can bring others closer to Christ. We can also drive people away from him.

The Lord sends us out to proclaim his message to the ends of the earth. We are to bring it to those who do not know him personally, on a one-to-one basis, just as the first Christians did with their families, their colleagues and their neighbours. To do this apostolate, we need not resort to strange behaviour. And when they see that we live the same life as they do, they will ask us, 'Why are you so happy? How do you manage to overcome selfishness and comfort-seeking? Who has taught you to understand others, to live well and to spend yourself in the service of others?’ Then we must disclose to them the divine secret of Christian existence. We must speak to them about God; Christ, the Holy Spirit, Mary. The time has come for us to use our poor words to communicate the depth of God’s love which grace has poured into our souls (idem, Christ is passing by, 148).

Are we leaven in our family, in our place of work or study? Do we show by our spirit of peace and joy that Christ is alive?

With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or

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