Monday of the 17th Week of the Year

Matt 13:31-35

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Thomas a’Kempis said: “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” L. Tolstoy also said: “Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself.”

Today’s gospel is about the parable of the mustard seed and the yeast. What do mustard seeds and leaven teach us about the Kingdom of God? Mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds but when it grows it becomes a tree. This is also similar with the Kingdom of God.  It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God’s word. It works unseen and causes a transformation from within. The same is true with yeast. Yeast is powerful agent of change. When dough has no yeast, it remains dough, nothing change in its shape. But when yeast is added to the dough a transformation takes place that produces rich and wholesome bread that when heated which it becomes the staple food for people especially those in Europe and America. For us Filipinos our staple food is rice.

Somebody had said that the kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers.  When we yield to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

That is why I will propose to you two things for us to reflect on based on this gospel passage. The first is God’s Kingdom must grow in our hearts. For a mustard seed to grow it needs to be planted. And it is through God’s grace that this kingdom grows. But we have to do our little part for God’s grace to enter our lives. The little part that we can do is our little effort we exert like for example: to go to the sacrament of reconciliation and perform our penance afterwards and God does the big part, that is, He takes our soul from a state of death to new life. God’s part is the significant part.

And a priest too, in his homily, said that one-time graces are meant to last for a lifetime and they do when they are nourished with generosity and prayer. We must always stay close to Christ in prayer and become channels of good works, rendering always more and more spiritual fruit in the world around us.

Second is we must always give good example. Jesus says: “The birds of the sky came and build their nests in its branches.” In other words, by our good example others build nests in heaven. We need to give witness to the “other” way, the way that leads to Christ’s Kingdom. Just like this study made quoted by Warren Mueller (in Homemade, May, 1990) that: 1) If both Mom and Dad attend church regularly, 72% of their children remain faithful; 2) If only Dad, 55% remain faithful; 3) If only Mom, 15%; 4) If neither attended regularly, only 6% remain faithful. The statistics speak for themselves that the example of parents and adults is more important than all the efforts of the church and Catholic Education and Catechesis.

“Some people will change when they see the light. Others change only when they feel the heat.”

See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

OPTION  01,   02,   03,

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