Archive for the ‘11th Sunday’ Category

Mustard Seed Faith 6-13-2021

Sunday, June 13th, 2021

Ben Durskin is nine years old. For almost four years, he has been
treated for acute lympho | blastic leukemia. During a punishing protocol
of chemotherapy, he passed the time with his Game Boy and Play
Station. Last summer, Ben came up with his own videogame, designed
especially for kids with cancer. In Ben’s Game, a boy (modeled after
Ben) zooms around a screen on a skateboard, blasting cancer cells in
order to collect “shields” that protect against the usual side effect of
chemo: fever, chicken pox, colds, vomiting, hair loss. A player can’t
lose – “you just keep fighting,” explains Ben.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation and software engineer Eric
Johnston of LucasFilms worked with Ben to create the game. Ben’s
Game has won raves from the 200,000 children who have found the
game, available free on line. Not only is the game fun but children learn
about the “monsters” attacking their bodies and how they can best beat
For eight years, 15-year-old Sasha Bowers and her family were homeless. Sasha, her little sister and her mother spent most nights in Columbus, Ohio, shelter, fighting hunger and bugs and kept awake by
snores and screaming. Two years ago, Sasha’s mom landed a job with a
cleaning company and the family was able to move into an apartment.
But Sasha hasn’t forgotten where she came from. She’s been the
driving force behind a summer day-camp program for 175 homeless kids
in Columbus. “When I was in shelters, there were no safe places to
play,” Sasha explains. “I wanted to create a place that was fun, where
kids could stay out of trouble while parents find jobs and housing.”
When Ryan Hreljac was in the first grade, he was shocked to learn
about African children having to walk five miles to get a bucket of clean
water. Ryan did odd jobs around the house and for neighbors for four
months to raise $70, the cost of digging a well.
That was six years ago. Since then the Canadian teen’s
foundation, Ryan’s Well, has raised $750,000 to build wells in seven
African nations. Relief and development agencies in Canada say of
Ryan: “He’s such a regular kid – that’s what makes him so powerful…
He believes everyone should have water, and he’s not going to stop until they do.” These remarkable young people, Ben, Sasha, and Ryan possess the
faith of the mustard seed: they have taken their own “Mustard seeds” –
seeds of creativity, empathy and dedication – and have done the hard
work of planting and nurturing those seeds until each one has realized an
enduring and rooted harvest of hope, of compassion, of life itself. Christ
calls us to embrace “mustard seed” faith – to believe that even the
slightest act of goodness, done in faith and trust in God’s presence, has
meaning in the reign of God. The mustard seed challenges us to grab
hold of the opportunities we have for planting and reaping a harvest of
justice, compassion and reconciliation in our own piece of the earth.
Ben, Sasha and Ryan – remarkable young people – they planted
their tiny mustard seed, worked hard, and God did the rest.
You, you, you, all of you, remarkable people. Plant your tiny
mustard seeds wherever you find yourself in life, work hard and let God
do the rest. Mustard seed faith – to believe that even the smallest act of
goodness, kindness, done in faith and trust in God’s power, can have an unbelievable effect on many, many people. Please, don’t sell yourself
short – don’t sell the power of God short!