REFLECTION | ‘The kingdom of heaven is a mustard seed’

July 23, 2017 - 6:56 AM
Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa/InterAksyon.

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’

“His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied,

“‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, ‘First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.’

He proposed another parable to them. “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 seeds, 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.”

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.”

Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

He said in reply, “He who sows good seeds is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
—Matthew 13:24-43

The mustard seed is one of the few small seeds in the world. The two parables are stories that we can ponder on today and inspire us to honestly ask ourselves who we are. A man sowed good seeds in his field. The good seeds are likened to the children of the kingdom, they are those who listened to the Word of God and followed it.

Let us look at our daily lives and ask ourselves if we really have seriously reflected on the Word of God every time we celebrate the Eucharist or in our private reading of the Scriptures.

How do we know the message of God if we don’t read and reflect on the Scriptures and read the signs of our times? The Lord expects the children of the kingdom to be those seeds that would become wheat, which would be used in making bread so others may eat and have life to the full.

The gospel reading has a lot of images that connote many things. In the parable, the weeds are referred to as children of the evil ones; some scrupulous and ill-intent people who initiate and influence bad thoughts, intentions, and plans among the good ones. Are our intentions real? Have we done something that caused others misery and suffering?

When we become self-righteous and self-centered in our dealings with others, we actually want to do things in our own way, forgetting God and most likely at the expense of others. Sometimes, we hinder the growth of others and block in their desire to take the path to holiness and wholeness.

Are you the wheat or the weed in the field? We should be the wheat for the weeds have no use as they will be tied together and thrown away during harvest time. The weeds shall be allowed to grow until the wheat is ripe for harvest.

And like a mustard seed, small at that but will grow when planted in fertile and good soil. That small seed will grow with complete care into a bush for the birds in the air to rest. The one who sows is Jesus the Son of God. Are you that mustard seed that had grown into a bush so others may rest? We seek rest in the Lord to be safe and secure with the Him. In return, we also make others rest in us. Like the birds that find rest in the mustard bush, do others see and feel God when they are with your company or otherwise?

Let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:

Am I a child of God’s kingdom?

Do I make myself available for the Lord like a wheat for the making of the bread?

Have I found real rest and peace in the Lord?

Almighty and Ever- living God, may we become good seeds to grow and wheat that can be used for your good purpose. Help and bless us to be good and worthy wheat for the food of others and a mustard bush so others may rest. Make us then instruments of your goodness and mercy Lord. This we ask through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Let us pray for all those whom we had promised to pray for, may the Lord listen to their prayers and grant their intentions. We also pray for the governments of the world and their leaders that they genuinely really work for the betterment of their peoples and their countries and fight systematic corruption and bureaucratic patronage so that there will be genuine justice and equality in all spheres of our human living.