Jesus put another parable before them, «The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, that a man took and sowed in his field. It is smaller than all other seeds, but once it has fully grown, it is bigger than any garden plant; like a tree, the birds come and rest in its branches».
He told them another parable, «The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast that a woman took and buried in three measures of flour until the whole mass of dough began to rise». Jesus taught all this to the crowds by means of parables; He did not say anything to them without using a parable. So what the Prophet had said was fulfilled: ‘I will speak in parables. I will proclaim things kept secret since the beginning of the world’.
The ‘Kingdom of God’ is a mystery which is already here, inaugurated by Jesus by the incarnation, and not yet to be fully established, waiting for His second coming. This theory of already and not yet is quite confusing. It’s preciously because the great intellectuals find difficult to understand this mystery. However, if we learn to see everything with an eye of a little child, with pure curiosity and search for it with sincerity and humility, the mystery of this great truth is given to us in abundance with generosity.
How is it that we don’t understand these little Bonheur and joy that God accords to all the believers? And what is the secret of knowing the will of the Father? How is it possible that many of the faithful people suffer without any reason? And immense are our questions and the response are very rare. It is in these background that today’s Gospel tries to respond with these parables of the Lord, in a simple and comprehensible language.
There are two things that we can infer from this gospel. The first is that we don’t know how God works in this world, but we can always identify the fruits of His work. Thus we need the patience with hope, of the night to be passed or for the growth of the mustard. The second point is that the very beginning of all great events of Christian life is very simple and in later days we discover the greatness of these works of God in our life. Thus, what is expected of us, as said in the first reading is, to be faithful to God’s love and mercy. It is in this faithfulness of God’s love and mercy that the created being finds its source of joy and happiness. It is not by receiving more grace after grace that we cherish the real joy, but simply by sharing what we have already received that this inner joy and peace is assured. Have a wonderful day.
«He did not say anything to them without using a parable»
Fr. Josep Mª MANRESA Lamarca
(Valldoreix, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, the Gospel shows us Jesus preaching to his disciples. He does so, as is His custom, in the form of parables, using simple everyday images to explain the great hidden mysteries of His Kingdom. In this way he could be understood by everyone from the most highly educated to the simplest of individuals.
«The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed» (Mt 13:31) The mustard seed is so tiny it is almost invisible, but if we take good care of it and water it properly... it ends up becoming a large tree. «The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast that a woman took and buried in three measures of flour (...)» (Mt 13:33). The yeast is invisible, but if it weren't present the dough would not rise. Such is the way for life lived as a Christian, the life of grace: you don't see it externally; it doesn't make a sound, but… if one lets it introduce itself in one's heart, divine grace nourishes the seed and converts people from sinners to saints.
We get this divine grace through faith, through prayer, through the sacraments, through love. But this life of grace is, above all, a gift that we must wait and hope for, that we must desire with humility. A gift which the wise and learned of this world do not know how to appreciate, but that Our Lord God wants to transmit to the humble and uncomplicated.
It would be great if, when He looks for us, he finds us, not in the group of the proud, but amongst the humble, the ones who recognize themselves as weak sinners, but very grateful for, and trusting in, the goodness of the Lord. This way the mustard seed will grow into the large tree, the yeast of the Word of God will bring about for us the fruit of eternal life because «the more the heart is lowered in humility, the higher it is raised to perfection» (Saint Augustine).