Reflections - July 23, 2017

He proposed another parable to them.  “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field.  It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.  It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”  Mt. 13:31-32.
 
The Lord continues to speak to us in parables about the Kingdome of God and says:  “that he who has ears to hear should hear ”.
 
We live in a world of great extroversion and a lot of noise that takes away our sensitivity of knowing how to listen.  Yet God transmits 24 hours a day, sometimes very simple things like a child’s smile or the compassion of some young people who spend their vacations working to help build houses for poor families in Central America.
 
We find it difficult to accept that that small seed of faith that we receive in Baptism can bear fruit in a social environment where the grandiose is what counts.  Also in Christ’s time the people of Israel felt that when the Kingdom of God came it would introduce a new era of peace, power, and triumph and the symbol for them was “the cedars of Lebanon”, because with a height of more than ninety meters birds of all species would nest in its shadow.
 
However, Jesus in this parable proposes something very different.  He says that the Kingdom of God is similar to a “grain of mustard seed”, the smallest of all the seeds.
 
What is the Lord trying to tell us with this insignificant seed?   He is trying to tell us that the Kingdom of God is not the spectacular place that we expect, but it is the opposite.  Jesus’ parable invites us to find that small, sometimes “-insignificant” seed of faith in our daily lives.  To find it in the sacrifice of a father and the sacrifice of children for their parents, in the commitment of a religious woman, etc. because the seed of the kingdom is inside us and it grows, but not like “a cedar from Lebanon”.  It grows modestly in the simplicity of our lives.
 
This parable can also make us reflect on how we may want to evangelize trusting that is will become a “great visible organization”.  If this is how we think then perhaps we have not understood the secret of the mustard seed and the idea that Jesus had for the success of the Kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God manifests itself in the small changes of our attitudes and the conduct of a repentant soul that perhaps no one notices.  It manifests itself in the charity and compassion toward our neighbor.  These are the mighty works of the Lord and not the great external triumphs.
 
Let us give thanks to the Lord in the Eucharist “for the grain of mustard seed of the Kingdom of God that grows quietly in our everyday life”.