JULY 26. Ord Time B. Wk 17. Mon. Mt 13. 31-35
Updated: Sep 10
Jesus put a parable before the crowds: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.’
He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’
In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables. This was to fulfil the prophecy:
I will speak to you in parables; - and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world.
In saying, “I will speak to you in parables; and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world,” Christ is telling us his efforts are directed at revealing truths that have existed since the beginning of time but which; - until his arrival; - have been hidden from us.
In saying he is able to reveal truths previously hidden, Christ is making it clear he is God, and his teachings are divine! As a result, we would be foolish to refuse to listen; - or not believe what he tells us!
It is important we understand this message, as truths are important; - without them we do not have the information we need to live in accord with the truth; - and so we will not understand “the correct way to live life!”
This remains the basis of Christian Faith today! That what we have been told by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Truth and so we believe it! Much of what he has told us continues to be hidden from human understanding and intelligence, but we believe; - “because he has told us so!”
And he chose to reveal these truths in parables in order to deepen, or illustrate, the message so we better understand; - with a good example being comparing our faith to a mustard seed!
A seed that is “the smallest of all seeds” but which has the potential to grow into a huge tree in which the birds of the air can find shelter!
Without such a parable how would we understand the truth our faith is something we have to care for; - and it is meant to produce benefits for the world in which we live?
And similarly, with yeast! It is put into dough prior to baking and then has a big impact on the final product once it has been baked!
But clearly, the smallest of all seeds; - if it is to reach its potential and become “the biggest shrub of all”; - will need to be nurtured and cared for by those to whom it has been given?
There is also a second interpretation these parables can apply to, namely the Church; - which Christ founded on a few fishermen; - but which was destined to spread throughout the world!
Gospel Acclamation Jm1:18
The Father gave us birth by the message of his truth,
that we might be as the first fruits of his creation.
First reading Exodus 32:15-24,30-34 The golden calf
Moses made his way back down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, tablets inscribed on both sides, inscribed on the front and on the back. These tablets were the work of God, and the writing on them was God’s writing engraved on the tablets.
Joshua heard the noise of the people shouting. ‘There is the sound of battle in the camp’, he told Moses. Moses answered him:
‘No song of victory is this sound,
no wailing for defeat this sound;
it is the sound of chanting that I hear.’
As he approached the camp and saw the calf and the groups dancing, Moses’ anger blazed. He threw down the tablets he was holding and broke them at the foot of the mountain. He seized the calf they had made and burned it, grinding it into powder which he scattered on the water; and he made the sons of Israel drink it. To Aaron Moses said, ‘What has this people done to you, for you to bring such a great sin on them?’ ‘Let not my lord’s anger blaze like this’ Aaron answered. ‘You know yourself how prone this people is to evil. They said to me, “Make us a god to go at our head; this Moses, the man who brought us up from Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” So I said to them, “Who has gold?,” and they took it off and brought it to me. I threw it into the fire and out came this calf.’
On the following day Moses said to the people, ‘You have committed a grave sin. But now I shall go up to the Lord: perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.’ And Moses returned to the Lord. ‘I am grieved,’ he cried ‘this people has committed a grave sin, making themselves a god of gold. And yet, if it pleased you to forgive this sin of theirs...! But if not, then blot me out from the book that you have written.’ The Lord answered Moses, “It is the man who has sinned against me that I shall blot out from my book. Go now, lead the people to the place of which I told you. My angel shall go before you but, on the day of my visitation, I shall punish them for their sin.’