June 14, 2015
(Eleventh Sunday Ordinary Time B)
Jesus said, “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.” Mk 4:26-34
Parables are stories that are supposed to help people understand something complex – through simple examples. So for example, Jesus often used parables about fishing and farming, because that is what the people were familiar with. And the deeper messages were about things like “the Kingdom of God,” or how people should behave toward one another, without directly pointing fingers and hurting feelings.
If we were to tell a parable today, what are some of the common things that we are familiar with, that could be used as examples? Maybe cell phones or TV’s.
Maybe cars, or traffic, or grocery store experiences, or even school. And we might learn about things like courtesy, and patience, and kindness, or even forgiveness, through those parables.
But you know what, sometimes even the parables Jesus used were difficult for the people to understand. For example, in today’s Scripture reading, Jesus spoke about a mustard seed and how it grew into a large plant. And he said, that is what the Kingdom of God is like.
So how do you think a mustard seed is like a Kingdom? Well, say for example, the mustard seed was a good deed that we did for someone else. It may have really been a pretty insignificant deed, like holding a door open for a person behind us, or helping someone pick up something they dropped. But you know what? That little courtesy may have really made that person’s day.
And that person might then be prompted to do something nice for someone else. And your tiny little good deed could turn into a whole world, a big plant of goodness, that people can do for one another, instead of being isolated
or selfish. That’s the Growth of God’s Kingdom. Just like the mustard seed.
And that is exactly what Jesus was trying to tell them. Every tiny little act of love that we do has the potential to grow into a whole world of love.
That’s God’s Kingdom,
right here in our midst.
And that’s pretty awesome!
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