In the “Healing Word” for Ordinary 17 in 2008, Virginia S. Wendel shares a lovely meditation on the parables in the Gospel reading for this week. She speaks of ways in which the christians and congregations of today work to manifest the truth of the mustard seed, the yeast, and the treasure hidden in a field through the various ministries to which we devote ourselves.
At the end of her meditation, she reminds us of the meta-ministry in which all christians engage when they joyfully pursue their calling before the eyes of other: the ministry of inspiration
About thirteen years ago, a young man came running up to my car while I was at a stoplight. As he got closer to the car, I recognized him as a former student from the early 1980s. He obviously recognized me because he was calling my name to get my attentions. Rolling down the window, I asked what he was doing these days, Jumping up and down and very excited, he responded, “I’m going to school to study theology. I’m going to be a religion teacher just like you.” The light changed and we both continued on our separate ways. As I drove on I realized that my excitement in his message was that it was the result of my own excitement over my ministry, my own commitment to building the kingdom of heaven, and of the teaching that goes back to the ministry of my own religion teacher who was dedicated to building the kingdom of heaven.
The kingdom of heaven is like. . .The joy of seeing God’s work in us across the generations is undoubtedly a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven.
Virginia S. Wende has twenty-eight years of experience as a teacher and counselor in secondary education. She olds a Master of Arts in Family Counseling (Northeastern Illinois University) and an M.Div. (Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary ). She is currently Director of Mission Integration and Pastoral Care at St. Joseph Village of Chicago.