OCTOBER 26. Ord Time B. Wk 30 Tue. Lk. 13. 18-21
Jesus said, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with? It is like a mustard seed which a man took and threw into his garden: it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches.’
Another thing he said, ‘What shall I compare the kingdom of God with? It is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’
In pondering the readings at this time, we need to bear in mind Jesus is heading for Jerusalem in order to undergo his Passion and Death, and on the way, he is preaching to the disciples who are accompanying him; - giving them some last words of advice.
It is interesting to note that while Christ was preaching to a significant group of disciples, almost none of them were with him on Calvary; - as they were all too busy “elsewhere!”
The central teaching in today’s reading is we should not underestimate the value of the gift we have been given in our Faith, which calls us to live the teachings proclaimed by Christ; - “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it with? It is like a mustard seed which a man threw into his garden; - it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air sheltered in its branches!”
The outstanding characteristic of the mustard seed is its minute and insignificant size; - the smallest of all seeds. What Christ is highlighting is the potential for growth! The smallest seed becoming the largest of trees; - capable of providing a home and shelter for multitudes of birds!
The message being our Faith is something that involves growth and change, during a process of “becoming” until it reaches its final state on earth; - holiness; - after which can enter heaven!
There is a powerful lesson here, when we consider Jesus is talking about the faith we were given at Baptism; - together with its potential for becoming something that can give glory and praise to God; - and have a positive impact, not only on our own souls; - but the lives and souls of others, in both their earthly and heavenly lives; - all occurring via a process we cannot see!
We often forget Faith is not something we are given for our own benefit; - it is meant to give glory to God, and have a positive impact on others; - and especially their eternal lives, and to achieve this goal via “the great commandment” of Love!
We can also forget genuine love involves sacrifice; - something Jesus will bear witness to at the end of his present journey to Jerusalem; - where he will sacrifice his life for our sins; - and demonstrate the extent of his love for us; - despite those sins.
The same message is repeated in the second parable of the leaven; - the amount of bread that can be made is out of all proportion to the weight of the yeast; - the implication being our Faith has the ability to impact multitudes of souls; - and benefit the growth of God’s Kingdom; - if we are faithful to the teachings which Jesus has left us.
An important teaching in both these parables is the need for time! The growth of seed and the impact of yeast, both take time. The life of Faith is not something that can reach fulfillment promptly. It involves long periods of learning, prayer, sacrifice and charity!
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.
First reading Romans 8:18-25 ·
The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons
I think that what we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us. The whole creation is eagerly waiting for God to reveal his sons. It was not for any fault on the part of creation that it was made unable to attain its purpose, it was made so by God; but creation still retains the hope of being freed, like us, from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God. From the beginning till now the entire creation, as we know, has been groaning in one great act of giving birth; and not only creation, but all of us who possess the first-fruits of the Spirit, we too groan inwardly as we wait for our bodies to be set free. For we must be content to hope that we shall be saved – our salvation is not in sight, we should not have to be hoping for it if it were – but, as I say, we must hope to be saved since we are not saved yet – it is something we must wait for with patience.