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.”
On this All Hallows Eve (more commonly known as Hallowe’en), Jesus shares two parables about the Kingdom of God. Today’s Gospel for Tuesday in the 30th Week in Ordinary Time is the same each year. I looked back at my past reflections and noted that I talked about the mustard seed a couple of years ago, and last year, I wrote about how both images point to the importance of perseverance and patience for us as followers of Jesus. I thought for this reflection, I’d focus on the yeast that Jesus mentions in the second of His two images.
I will admit that I am not a baker. I can follow directions on a box of cake mix, but I know that there are many, many others who don’t need a boxed mix and can still turn out wonderful baked goods. God did not give me that talent. That’s okay, as I trust that He gave me something else, instead. One of the ingredients in much of baking, especially for bread is yeast. Yeast is a marvelous thing. You can use just a tiny amount of it, but the effect is remarkable. It causes there to be an airiness in the dough, so that it rises and is light to eat. You don’t taste the yeast, but you definitely know it is there, if it is.
Our faith is much like that. Our presence in the world is much like that. If we allow the yeast (God’s love) to grow in us, we rise, and our lives shine forth, whether we expected them to, or intended them to. I know that some do wear their faith very outwardly. Ordained ministers, of course, are very obvious at Mass and other Church functions. But, even when we are not serving actively in the Church, we still have that yeast in our hearts. We live lives that go beyond the building, and when we do, our presence can spread that yeast (God’s love) to others.
Nowadays, there is so much division and strife in the world, in our country, maybe even in our communities and families. But, if we ask God each day to use that bit of yeast He put in us at our Baptism to touch another, can we ever underestimate how much of an effect it can have? We may not think so, but if a kind word from us turns someone way from an act of evil, how can we say that the world is not a bit better for that kind act? Let us realize that our lives are made up of many, many little moments. May we do our best to shine God’s love in the world in each of those little moments, today and every day.
Action for the Day:
Today, while so many are only thinking of costumes, candy, and being scary, let us think for a moment of how we can be that yeast in the world. Let us be the “treat” that changes the world for the better!
Have a Happy and safe Hallowe’en!
If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below!