Gospel: Lk 13:18-21
And Jesus continued, ”What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? Imagine a person who has taken a mustard seed, and planted it in his garden. The seed has grown, and become like a small tree, so that the birds of the air shelter in its branches.”
And Jesus said again, ”What is the kingdom of God like? Imagine a woman who has taken yeast, and hidden it in three measures of flour, until it is all leavened.”
The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which was planted in the garden. Even though there are oppositions it continues to grow. The emphasis here is on the ‘growth‘ which takes place irresistibly. This parable consoles the disciples who are doing their mission to proclaim the gospel even in the midst of persecutions. Trials, sufferings and difficulties cannot hinder the growth in number of those who are willing to enter God‘s kingdom. There are even numerous people who shed their blood for the sake of it. This is a concrete manifestation that persecutions neither lead believers to despair nor discourage them from continuing their mission. Rather than surrendering, they strive all the more to make this kingdom known to all the nations.
Another consoling word of Jesus is that ”the birds of the air shelter in its branches” which signifies people of diverse origins finding refuge in God‘s kingdom. Although, Jesus‘ opening of this kingdom to all, e.g. when he accepted the outcasts in meals, resulted to opposition of his opponents; nevertheless, many felt their belongingness to the heavenly family.
How can we contribute to the growth of God‘s kingdom during our times?