July 27, 2020

Gospel MT 13:31-35

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.”
He spoke to them another parable.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”
All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:
I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.

Reflection

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds.
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.”

In today’s gospel, Jesus speaks of small beginnings, comparing Heaven to a mustard seed that grows into a large bush nourishing the birds that perch in its branches.

When we think of Heaven we often envision a place of peace and tranquility.

In these troubling times we all yearn for peace.

But yearning is not enough. If peace is to come about it will be necessary for someone to move toward the middle ground. Whether our difference is with our neighbor or a family member, whether it is with our employer or our pastor, whether it is with those who believe as we do or those who believe differently, peace will not come unless someone takes one small step towards the middle.

For peace to prevail, a “mustard seed” of compromise needs to be initiated.

Will you or I be the one to take that first step toward the middle ground? Or, will we stand fast until someone else does?

“The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch was leavened.”

As a child, Jesus would have watched His mother bake bread. He would have seen the yeast she kneaded into the dough permeate the entire batch; Mary probably would have explained that the yeast caused the bread to rise.

In these tumultuous times when peace eludes us, can we can be the “yeast” that raises up our family, our friends and especially those who think and believe differently than us?

Can we be the one to say, “Let’s try to raise our relationship above our differences and see if we can agree on just one thing?”

“I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.”

A parable is a method of teaching that allows us to see ourselves and our actions in a new light.

Jesus’ calls each of us to be the seed of hope or the yeast and be willing to take that one small step toward peace.

“Compromise is not about losing. It is about recognizing that the other person has just as much right to be happy with the end result as you do.” Donna Martini