Gospel Mark 4:26-34
The kingdom of God is a mustard seed growing into the biggest shrub of all
Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’
He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’
Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe you have called me to strive tirelessly to extend your Kingdom throughout the world. I hope in you because you are the one the Father sent. I love you. Thank you for inviting me to be an apostle of your Kingdom.
Petition: Lord Jesus, make me an apostle of your Kingdom.
1. Kingdom of God: Christ returns to this theme again and again. It was the topic of his first public sermon. He gives us the image of the mustard seed which grows to be the largest of plants and in turn serves other creatures’ needs. The Kingdom of God is like this. God is king and his Kingdom, like the mustard tree, is a safe haven for us. We can dwell in its shade, rest on its branches, and find protection from evils. All we have to do is be faithful subjects of our King, following his commands and going out to spread the news of his Kingdom to all people.
2. Modest Beginnings: We should not get anxious when we do not progress in the spiritual life as fast as we would like. God moves us along little by little. The life of our relationship with Christ does not depend solely on us, but on him. We are like good farmers who do our part to make sure the conditions are good for the seed to grow, but it is the Creator who makes the growth happen. Often, we do not perceive the work of God in our souls until much time has passed. However, he is constantly there, pulling out our weeds one at a time, and pushing our virtues to the surface.
3. Called to Greatness: Two thousand years ago, Christ’s Church started off like a small mustard seed. It has grown and matured to be a huge plant with many branches. I am one of those branches. Christ brings life to my branch and assigns me a specific task. He calls me to participate in the great mission of his Church. Do I realize and relish how great it is to be a Catholic, how much good the Church does, how I am called to be a link that will bring others to experience the same goodness I have experienced?
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, I am a member of your Mystical Body. I want to partake in your mission of bringing all souls to know and love you. I have found my joy in you, and now I have a burning desire to make it known to all people. Lord, I pray for the courage to keep going, never tiring from the mission you have given me.
Resolution: I will take a moment in prayer to reflect on how God has worked in my life, making me grow.