“The Lord likes small things best, especially those done with love.” ― Mother Teresa: (1910 – 1997: Albanian Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary)
Gospel Text: (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.”
“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 plants
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.
I am not an expert on mustard seeds. I don’t think I have ever seen one of these tiny wonders Jesus talks about in today’s reading. However I do think I get the point Jesus is making today. The smallest action on our part can build the Kingdom of God.
In every Christian's soul Jesus Christ has sown —by virtue of the Baptism— the grace, the sanctity, the Truth... It is necessary that these seeds sprout, grow and bear a multitude of good fruits, our deeds: deeds of service and charity, of kindness and generosity, of sacrifice to properly comply with our daily duty and to make happy those around us; deeds of constant prayer, of forgiveness and understanding, of effort to grow in virtue, of joy...
Thus, this Kingdom of God —that begins within each one of us— will extend to our family, to our people, to our society, to our world. Because, he who lives like that, «what does he do but preparing the path of God (...), so that the strength of grace fills him and the light of truth lights him up; so that his ways to God are always straight?» (Saint Gregory the Great).
The seed begins very small, «It is like a mustard seed which, when sown, is the smallest of all the seeds scattered upon the soil. But once sown, it grows up and becomes the largest of the plants in the garden» (Mk 4:31-32). But the force of God's will scatters it all over and makes it grow up with a surprising vigor. Jesus asks us today —as in the beginning of Christianity— to spread his kingdom throughout all the world.