In the Gospel Reading, Jesus tells three more stories to explain further the meaning of God’s Kingdom. All three stories reveal something of the paradox: God’s Kingdom grows in a world that is at the same time a hostile environment.
On the heels of the parable of the sower we heard proclaimed at Mass last week, Jesus narrates three more short stories all designed to explain God’s Kingdom even more clearly and convincingly (Matthew 13:24-43).
- A man sows good seed in his field only to have weeds appear from the hands of an enemy (vv. 24-30)
Both crops – good fruit and weeds – grow together in the world. Only at the final gathering is the separation complete (vv. 29-30). The weeds are gathered and burned while the wheat is brought into God’s granary. We live in a world tainted by sin. We witness despicable crimes against people through the abuse of power, the exploitation of the underprivileged and the slaying of the innocent including the continuing abhorrent legal massacre of the most vulnerable among us living in the womb who are discriminated solely because of their size and place of residence.
How do we permit God’s Word to grow stronger and more mature within us in the midst of the proliferation of toxic weeds?
- The smallest seed becomes a large bush (vv. 31-32)
Here, the mustard seed is the preaching of Christ Jesus and His Church. From very small beginnings spreads amazingly throughout the whole world. The Church Christ has established for us and for our salvation is forever extending according to God’s promise and power.
What truly committed am I to living in the heart of the Church? What must I do to configure myself more completely to the teaching of Christ and His Church?
- A tiny amount of yeast leavens a whole batch of bread (v. 33)
Together with Passover, the Jews celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread. To them, yeast seems to be corrupting. Yet now the teachings of Christ Jesus are to penetrate the dough and slowly set everything and everyone into ferment. That means I must be advancing my own personal holiness and becoming, as it were, more and more Christian living in the midst of the world.
How am I growing peace and confidence within those whom I encounter? How am I leading others to Christ?