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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus warns his disciples against the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod. Conversely, he wanted them to be the leaven that would transform their culture.

The Second Vatican Council spoke of the universal call to holiness—the summons of all the baptized to be a transforming leaven in the wider society. The Vatican II fathers wanted to inspire a generation of great Catholic professionals in the hopes that such people would carry the holiness they learned in the Church out to their areas of specialization in the secular world.

The Church manifests the way of ordering things born of love—love for God and love for neighbor. Generosity, peace, nonviolence, and trust will give rise to a new way of ordering things. This is true of a family, a school, a parish, a community, a nation-state. 

Now, how in the world does one get this project off the ground? As should be clear to even the most naïve person, this never happens all at once, overnight. Rather, in small ways, people begin living according to the Lord’s ways. And then, in God’s time, this new community begins to have a leavening effect on the wider society.