It is wonderful to see and look at the ordinary events of our life for what’s happening around us; for things, images, places and people that might help us feel and experience God’s mysterious presence in the Kingdom.
In today’s Gospel Jesus once again uses parable to teach us and lead us to the ordinariness of life. Parables usually contain some element that is strange or unusual, and they are used to illustrate or compare ideas. They do not define things precisely, but use comparisons to point us in the direction of an understanding of how God works.
The first parable is about the seed that grows all on its own. The seed is the Kingdom. Night and day the process of growth continues without human intervention. The seed sprouts and grows and we do not know how. It reminds us that, while we live our ordinary day-to-day lives, the kingdom continues to grow. It is not we who bring it about but it grows through a power greater than ours and its fruitfulness is beyond our expectations. Just like a farmer, once the seed is ripe, he brings in the harvest. Now our task or the challenge of this parable is, how are we going to bring in the harvest which was planted in the hearts of the people? How are we helping people see the truth and love of God already in their deepest being?
In the second parable the Kingdom is compared to a mustard seed. Although one of the tiniest of seeds, it grows into a sizable shrub which even birds can build its nest. God’s kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God’s word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within. Just as a seed has no power to change itself until it is planted in the ground, so we cannot change our lives to be like God until God gives us the power of his Holy Spirit.
Are you ready to let God change you by his grace and power? When we yield to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. The kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers.
An important lesson comes to us from these two parables: as Pope Francis stated: God’s Kingdom requires our cooperation, but it is above all the initiative and gift of the Lord. Our weak effort, seemingly small before the complexity of the problems of the world, when integrated with God’s effort, fears no difficulty. The victory of the Lord is certain: his love will make every seed of goodness present on the ground sprout and grow. (Angelus, 14 June 2015) This opens us up to trust and hope, despite the COVID 19 pandemic that we are experiencing, tragedies because of war and conflicts, the injustices, and other forms of sufferings that we encounter in our daily living. The seed of goodness and peace sprouts and develops, because the merciful love of God makes it ripen.
Lastly, our father Founder, Blessed Francisco Palau reminds us that God’s great work in man takes place in the interior. The order that appears and is shown outside is the work and effect of the order inside. (Lt. 38.2). May the Word of God nourish our hearts so that we will have strength and perseverance to carry out all that He expects of us, being a sign and witness of God’s Kingdom.
Do I see signs of the kingdom in my own life and in today’s Church? Even in today’s world?
Sharon S. Villafranca, CMT