Broadcast (Part 2): The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Last time we looked at the Parable of the Sower, and noted that God’s message requires an active response in order for it to bear fruit. If we miss the message, we also miss the connection, the loving relationship, the everlasting life with God which is the message.
So how do we respond?
This time, we are going to jump into the second little parable from that same gospel passage – the mustard seed. Jesus tells these two parables back-to-back.
The parable of the mustard seed inspires us with the incredible power of the Gospel message.
A mustard seed is 1-2 mm in diameter. It is miniscule. So small it is almost invisible to the naked eye. In scientific terms it is, “teeny, tiny.” Yet it grows into the greatest of all shrubs; its branches providing a home and shade for the birds of the air.
This, we are told, is what the Kingdom of God is like. And we see the truth of this miracle all throughout the Kingdom.
It is a picture of the disciples, a small and simple group of people — insignificant in the scope of human civilization – yet through these few individuals the fullness of the Catholic Faith has emerged.
We see the power of the mustard seed image in our own spiritual lives, where very little teeny tiny bit of faith and love goes a very long way. Think about the impact of a kind loving word, a sincere apology, a heartfelt thank you. Think of how the smallest bits of kindness, of love, of grace, can change the course of our whole day, or week, or even lives. Earnestly stepping out in just the tiniest bit of faith can change the course — not only of our own lives — but the countless lives of all those whom God chooses to touch through our minute faithfulness.
This is the mustard seed.
The same is true for every tiny act of obedience, and prayer. In the Kingdom of God, value is found – not in quantity, but in quality! Think about the widow’s mite, whose two cents far exceeded the value of the riches of the Pharisees. Or the Tax Collector in the Temple, whose simple prayer, “God be merciful to me a sinner,” had far more power than all the eloquent prayers of the Pharisees.
These are all manifestations of that same mustard seed, which starts off invisible to the naked eye, and results in a community of Christians, a grand cathedral, the Kingdom of God made present on earth, as it is in heaven.
Like the mustard seed – our faith, our prayers, our obedience, our love — a very little bit goes a very long way. We don’t need to go big. We need to go real and earnest, in sincerity and truth.
God created us to grow and to bear fruit.
Our Lord’s message is broad cast to the ends of the earth. Let us continue to turn on, tune in, receive the message, and respond to it with ever little bit of faithfulness, prayer, obedience, and love we can muster – that God’s Kingdom would come, that his will would be done on earth, in us, as it is in heaven.