St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

September 2006

Fr. Antony PortraitDear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:

Christ is in our midst!

Several times Jesus compares faith to a mustard seed, the tiniest of seeds. With faith as small as that one can move mountains. He spoke in this way because the people who were listening would understand. They were simple people for the most part, fishermen, and agrarian folk. The simplicity of his language speaks volumes to the truth of his divinity. How could anyone but the Lord speak of such divine and mysterious things in language all but the smallest of children could grasp?

Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is like the smallest seed that when planted in the earth becomes the largest of trees. This kingdom, this seed is in each of us for he also teaches that to attend it by planting it in the good soil of the heart, watering it and feeding it with attentiveness, with the Gospel, with love and tenderness and then it will grow. We may be taken by surprise by its quick or slow growth. We are not in control of this, but if we attend to the seed mindfully we know by faith in the One who loves us that grow it will.

The growth of this seed will produce a particular kind of fruit. One of the great saints wrote that "the glory of God is the human person fully realized." Full "realization" is the fruit of this seed. Far from being "extraordinary" it is this fully realized life that is normal because it was for this that human beings were created in teh first place. The truth is, we are living abnormally if the glory of God does not shine through us in allwe think, do and say.

Take a few moments each day to consider these important truths. Embrace them, contemplate them and your life will begin a slow and inredible transformation. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you the kingdom within and direct you in how to attend to it more and more each and every day. The Divine Liturgy is punctuated throughout with an instruction to which we should take heart moment by moment, "Let us be attentive." In other words, wake up and attend to the seed of the kingdom within.

With love in Christ,

Fr. Antony Hughes
Pastor