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The parable of the Mustard Seed

Gospel Reading: 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 seed, 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.

I will open my mouth in Parables. Jesus fulfills a prophecy when he opens his mouth in parables. Jesus is not inventing anything or playing his own games by his rules. He is conscious of his role as a teacher sent by God to a particular culture. He adopts the words of the prophet of old to teach the crowds about the Kingdom of God in parables.

Jesus is thus reminding his audience that he, too, belongs to the stream of Jewish spiritual tradition. His style is deeply rooted in and colored by their oral and literary history. It is not something new. Therefore, they should be comfortable with it, but there is always a possibility of not understanding well, because the subject matter is something new. The people are more familiar with the kingdoms of this world than the Kingdom of God.

There are two parables here. One is found in the field or garden, the other in the kitchen. They both begin small and end big. The Kingdom of God is like that in other words. When Jesus starts talking about the Kingdom of God, inviting them to repentance, very few respond. Those who do are still at a loss with regard to what it is exactly. So they must journey with Jesus to discover what it really is.

You will discover what the
Kingdom of God is
if you are engaged in the
life and mission of the Church.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.