Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time (Joachim and Anne, parents of the Virgin Mary)

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.

THE WORD VIS-À-VIS THE IDOLS: While Moses had gone up the mountain to receive the first document written by God himself, the people of Israel fell for the temptation of idolatry. To them the idol looked more promising than the message from God that Moses had gone to seek for them. The word of God may look insignificant compared to the material things that we can see and touch. Its effect starts small but as we continue hearing it, our faith grows and finally we become kingdom agents. In His parables, Jesus speaks about two things that look insignificant, but given time and a good environment they grow and influence their environment. Let us allow the word of God to settle in our hearts and grow in us and in our environment as we enhance the Kingdom of God.

PRAYER: We pray for the grace to trust in the word of God and not material things.


HIDDEN GROWTH OF THE KINGDOM: The gospel speaks about the impact of the true Christian witnessing. The seed of the Kingdom of God is sown in the preaching of Jesus and it continues through his disciples. Its effect takes place without our noticing it, in the hidden nature of the Kingdom of God. Growth happens as we work for the Lord, and we should not be disappointed that no dramatic impact is found in response to our work of evangelization. Many missionaries have gone to the remote places and sometimes died there having left no trace of their work. Yet, God sees to it that the seeds they sowed produce harvest in due course. Even when the work we do looks insignificant in our own eyes, the Spirit makes the outcome immensely significant.