The Gospel according to Luke (13:18-21)
Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.”
Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”
Jesus loved to use very familiar illustrations to make His points. His parables were all about using something familiar to connect to something that was truly beyond the grasp of those who heard these stories. In a way, it is still true even in our own day, as we try to grasp this God we love and serve, who is far beyond our ability to grasp!
I love the illustration in today’s Gospel of the mustard seed. I have to admit that, other than pictures, I’ve never seen a mustard seed. And, I wouldn’t know a mustard plant, even if one were growing in my backyard. I don’t think there’s a mustard plant there, and from the picture at the end of this reflection, I’m assured that there is no mustard plant in my backyard. I would love to hear from any of those who read or hear these reflections, if you have such a plant! I’ll come by and take a picture of it!
What I love about the mustard seed illustration is how something so tiny can eventually become large enough even to serve the needs of others. That’s what our faith is. We start with a small amount of faith, and when we believe, God does amazing things in our lives. That’s exactly what Jesus did in the lives of His first followers! Think about it. Were it not for their faith, we would not be here today. I can’t imagine what things would be like, and I don’t want to imagine it.
Each of us has been blessed with that gift of faith. Some days, it will definitely feel like a mustard seed in size, when the world’s weight lays heavily on our shoulders. Other days, thanks to God, we feel full of faith, when we have seen an inkling of what God can do in our lives. The rest of the days are in between. I suppose that is the journey of Ordinary Time.
We each have that gift of faith. What we do with it is entirely up to us. God won’t make us live out of faith. We each choose to do that. It’s how we try to grasp the hand of the God is always reaching out to us. May we always seek to reach out to that hand and know that doing so will lead us to the most wonderful destination, where that faith will truly be rewarded forever!
Action for the Day:
Think of something that you are hoping for from God. Pray about that today and ask that loving Lord if it is something that will lead you closer to Him. Be patient and wait for His answer and know that your faith will help you whether God gifts you as you are asking, or whether what God wants for you is something even greater!
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