Message of the Week

The Kingdom of God is Like a Mustard Seed….

The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

We hear about the Kingdom of God in many of Jesus’ parables. In today’s passage, he uses parables to describe how the kingdom will spread. What is interesting is that they are not so much about our actions as they are about how God builds his kingdom.

Let’s start with the second parable: Jesus exaggerates a little, with the mustard seed being the smallest seed and the bush being the largest plant. Like the birds on the branches, Jesus implies that the growing kingdom will attract outsiders to be members. His point is that the kingdom may look small at first, but it will keep growing. We need not be discouraged when it seems the kingdom is not growing: We might be limiting it to people who think and act just like ourselves. We might see attendance at church in our parish declining. So Jesus is reminding us to think of the bigger picture.

In the first parable about the man who scattered seeds, Jesus says that those seeds produce a harvest, even though the farmer doesn’t know how or why those seeds can grow. We too can be doing things that help the Kingdom to grow, without knowing how we are helping. But God is making the kingdom grow in his own way and in his own time. Like the farmer, we can help it grow by loving each other, teaching our children about Jesus, caring for the poor and the sick.

But we can also hinder the kingdom by being stingy with our love, or hurting people with our anger. So let us ask God to trust him as we do our part to help the kingdom to grow.

Tom Schmidt, Diocesan Publications

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time | USCCB

Even the Wind and the Sea Obey Him

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