Sticky Faith

Homily for June 17, 2018 (11th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 92; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34

 

Forty years ago, Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist, had a problem. 

His job was to develop new adhesives for the 3M Company. 

He wanted to develop a stronger adhesive. 

He created one that wasn’t very strong,

       but it was sticky. 

 

Dr. Silver knew that there was a use for this glue. 

But he didn’t know what it was.  

He kept thinking. 

       He talked with his colleagues. 

       He promoted his idea.  

       For years nothing happened. 

But Spencer Silver didn’t give up.

 

Then one of his friends and colleagues, Art Fry,

       came to him with a problem. 

Fry was a member of a church choir. 

At choir practice,

       he used pieces of paper to mark the pages of his hymnal. 

But by Sunday those bookmarks had fallen out. 

He wanted a bookmark that would stick to the pages without damaging them.  What could he do?

 

Then Art Fry had a “Eureka moment.” 

He went back to his colleague, Spencer Silver. 

Together they invented a piece of paper

       that could stick to things without sticking forever: 

              the Post-It® Note. 

Today there are over 4000 Post-It® products available 150 countries. 

 

A little glue became a big idea.

 

Today’s scripture readings are filled with things

       that start small and become big. 

Ezekiel uses the image of a tender shoot from a cedar tree

       to describe how God

       will bring the people of Israel home from exile. 

God gives them an opportunity for a fresh start and to grow again. 

God gives us the same chance. 

 

St. Paul encourages us to see with the eyes of faith. 

When we do so, we remember that our time here on earth is temporary. 

       We are stewards of our bodies and minds. 

       We are stewards of our thoughts, words and actions. 

The Lord will hold us accountable for how we live in this world.

But above all,

       he wants us to live in eternal peace and joy.

 

Jesus uses farm imagery to describe the reign of God. 

God scatters the seeds—even the smallest—

       ensures their growth,

       and collects the harvest.  

 

When we cooperate with the grace of God and nurture our faith,

       when we give thanks for our gifts, talents and other blessings,

       and when we use them for God’s glory,

              the service of others,

              and the building of our community of faith,

       we make the kingdom of God more real. 

 

It’s not easy. 

 

We need the patience and persistence of Spencer Silver and Art Fry

       and to be prepared when,

       through the power of the Holy Spirit,

              we have our own “Eureka moments.” 

 

We need a sticky faith. +