Everything belongs to God, “the giver of growth and the sole determiner of the time for harvest.”
We have two seed parables in our Gospel today. The first is about the seed growing secretly and the second is about the mustard seed, a tiny seed that can grow big. Both are parables that speak to us about the Reign-Kingdom of God. In the first parable, the role of the farmer is apparently disregarded. In fact, it speaks of the farmer sleeping and rising only while the seeds grow and bear fruit. This is a wholesome reminder that the final fulfillment of God’s reign is not based on human effort but on God alone. We are simply instruments of God’s liberating work and mission.
Sometimes, there is a tendency in many of us pastors and die-hard Catholics to work hard, making one project after another, building communities, doing pastoral and evangelizing activities, involving ourselves with charitable concerns and many others. In so doing, we forget that this is not our mission, but that we are only sharers of God’s mission in the establishment of His reign. It is not about our activities, our successes and/or failures – everything belongs to God, “the giver of growth and the sole determiner of the time for harvest.”
This is also a real comfort to us, who work so hard for the establishment of the reign of justice, peace and love. We are all simply to put our trust in the Lord. Yes, we have to do and give the best we can but let us also leave the rest to the hands of God. In seeming hopeless situations, where we feel we are still in the dark tunnel, this Gospel parable is good news to us. God will never leave us or give up on us. As in the first reading from Ezekiel, He assures us with this words: “…I will make the withered tree bloom…I, the Lord, have spoken, so will I do.”
The second parable is about the mustard seed, one of the smallest seeds but when sown and grown, it can become the largest of all plants where birds of the sky can take shade on.
This parable reminds us of God’s way of lowliness and humility. Jesus came into this world but the world did not recognize Him. He was insignificant. He was nobody. He came to the world in the most ordinary of circumstances. But in such ordinariness, we see the greatness of His heart. This is the reign-kingdom of God. It is not
about power and control. It is not about grandeur and fanfare but the way of the heart.
God calls us into His Reign of love. Let us turn our hearts towards the Lord and so His reign will reign in the hearts of all. God calls us to littleness – to personal conversion and the transformation of our lives. As Jesus said himself, “No one can enter the kingdom of God unless we become like children” – lowly and humble of heart. Indeed, members of God’s reign are those whose hearts are lowly like
We are also invited by this Gospel to discover God in His ordinariness. Sometimes, we look for him in the most ordinary of human experiences. We desire to find something grand and magical. We want to see apparitions and we want the sun to dance, but God tells us that in the mustard seed, we can see Him. Yes, we can find the Lord in our family, in our children, in our neighbors, in the poor and the neglected. Yes, we can find the Lord in the most ordinary of human experiences.