In his second letter to Timothy, St. Paul says: “I remind you, to stir into flames the gift of God given you…” In today’s gospel we read: “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you would say to a mulberry tree, ‘be uprooted and planted in the sea’ and it would obey you.”

Both St. Paul and Jesus tell us that we have received a great gift from God and it is not a small gift, but a gift with great potential. If faith can uproot a mulberry tree and be planted in the sea, St. Luke tells us what we possess, but as St. Paul says, sometimes we need to “stir” it into flames. So often people comment that they wish they had more faith, but here are two writers who tell us that we already have it – we just need to stir it up and get it going. These are two good Scripture quotes for us.

For several weeks I have been including in the bulletin “Seven Themes of Catholic Teaching.”These themes stress Catholic values in society and in our day-to-day lives as Catholics. Many people are unaware what these Themes are and the fact that they are built on the Gospel and Jesus’ teaching. When we return to Scripture and Papal documents for the past 100 years, this is where we find these values. Next week, I will begin including sections from the document “Open Wide Our Hearts.” This is a Pastoral Letter against racism from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This is very timely and important, so I encourage you to read the sec- tions each week.

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.