We are familiar with the slogans, ‘might makes right”, “money is power” and “bigger is better.’ Jesus always gives us different perspectives in our lives. In His eyes, the poor, the small and weak, the meek and humble, are the truly great ones.
It is in this perspective Jesus tells the parable of the mustard seed. Insignificant beginnings can lead to a wonderful result. God’s Grace starts working for us in a small and seemingly insignificant way. Our faith can appear as small as a mustard seed; but such hope is enough for the Lord to work with. Our various efforts can seem to bear very insignificant results. The parable assures us that the final harvest from those efforts will be abundant.
Mother Theresa had this realization. She said “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” That is the key to our success in spiritual life. Little things are a better test of character than great things. They come every day; great things do not. Little things deal with reality, without any show; and what we call “little things” are often much greater than what we call the great ones, and therefore have much larger consequences. Attend to the little things, and we need not be anxious about the greater ones.
In today’s first part of the Gospel Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how the kingdom of God grows: It is as if a man scatter seeds on the land and sleep and rise night and day, and the seed will sprout and grow, even without him knowing. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. At the end the harvest has come.”
I compare this to our human life. How does our human life begin? Little by little in a mother’s womb. Nine months of little-by-little growth is our beginning. Think of us after birth. We grow by small and constant repetitive actions. A little sleep, a little food, a little exercise. Over again, a little sleep, a little food, a little exercise. And again, a little sleep, and so on. A breath. A word. Life consists of small things.
The kingdom of God, our faith, our spiritual life is based on small things. Jesus told us this great truth. The last will be the first, the humble will enter the kingdom of God. A small child, the least in our eyes are all important in Jesus’ eyes.
Let us pray: Dear Lord, help us understand the deeper meaning of the parable of the mustard seed. Help us do small things with great love and expand your Kingdom of love. We ask this Grace through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. George Vaniyapurackal
11th Sunday in Ordinary time