JAN 29. ORDINARY TIME. (B) WK. 3. FRI. MK. 4. 26-34
Updated: Jul 24
Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.
Without doubt the lesson of today’s reading is about Faith and Growth, two aspects of life that are of fundamental importance, with the seed representing our Faith.
There is enormous wisdom in portraying Faith as a seed, as both need to be cared for and nurtured in order to reach their potential and both grow and develop; “how, he does not know!”
The weak point in the analogy is the difference in outcome, with the seed producing a plant on earth, while Faith, if lived as taught by Christ, proclaims the wonder of God; - overcomes our pride and self-love, and saves multiple souls, including our own, by assisting them to enter into Eternal Life, where they will sing the praises of God for all eternity!
Faith is also at the very heart, not only of how we spend eternal life, but just as importantly how we live our earthly life, as it addresses the very purpose of our existence; - given we are created to “Know, Love and Serve God” and to “Love our neighbour!”
Another major benefit of our Faith is it opens the door to our having the ability to enter into an intimate and loving relationship with our Creator, and to the living of our earthly life in accord with the teachings and example of Christ!
Probably one of the best ways of illustrating the importance of our Faith is to ponder what we would lose were we to not have it! God would not exist! Prayer would not exist! There would be no Church! There would be no Sacraments (including the Eucharist and Confession)!
There would be no Virgin Mary, and no Scriptures; - just to name a few benefits to mankind!
In comparing our Faith to a Mustard Seed, Christ is illustrating its potential were we to nurture and care for it; - a potential that will only “bear fruit” we can see and experience after death; - when we enter The Kingdom of Heaven! How wise he is in telling us to care for it?
“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.”
Gospel Acclamation cf.Mt11:25
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.