January 30, 2015

Gospel MK 4:26-34
Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”
He said,
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plant and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
Today’s gospel sets forth two related parables.
First: Although man may plant and nourish a seed, it is God who makes the seed grow. Second: Even the smallest of seeds may grow into the largest of plants.
And, there is a third truth in nature: Once a plant produces seeds and they fall to the ground, other similar plants will spring up around it.
Plant a pine seed in an open field. Left undisturbed, twenty years later what was once a field will be a pine grove.
Plant the same pine seed in a pot and keep it in your home and it will grow, but it will be stunted and never reach its full potential. Although it will be a life unto itself, it will never produce another pine tree.
We have all known both kinds of people: those who gather and keep unto themselves, and those who produce and spread their blessings to others.
My Brother’s Keeper is an example of Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed. From small beginnings, it has grown into the largest of ministries. The thousands of people who fill its branches contribute to spreading the love of Christ to others, both those we serve and those with whom we serve.
Every delivery of furniture, accompanied by the giving of a crucifix, is only possible because of the efforts of a multitude of people.
It begins with the generosity of those who donate items, followed by the efforts of those who pick up the donated items.
From there it goes to those who prepare it for delivery including repairing and polishing furniture and household items and washing and packing linens and dishes.
Finally, after passing through many hands, that which was given in love is delivered to someone in need, as a gift from Jesus Christ.