Transformed Into a New Creation

Luke 13:18-21
Eph 5: 21–33 / Psa 128

It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.
(Luke 13:21)

Like mustard seed or leaven dough
May God transform our mind and soul,
Slowly but surely in spirit grow
To reach our everlasting goal.

Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.” Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (Luke 13:18-21)

Reflection

Our Lord used common objects that His audience could easily identify, and recognize as of little significance in their lives. Mustard seeds, used as spice or condiment were as common as yeast mixed with flour to bake bread. The smallest of seeds, it would grow as the biggest shrub in the garden, and the hardiest that was not easily uprooted. Yeast was a fermented substance that was only used to make baked bread grow. The message that our Lord was imparting to His listeners was that His kingdom might appear insignificant at first to many of His critics, but ultimately, it will dominate all nations.

These two short parables of Jesus spoke about the transformation that would happen to His small band of followers. Many years later, they would realize that in just a single generation after His resurrection and ascension into heaven, Christ’s kingdom would spread all over the Roman empire and beyond, to the whole civilized world. Like the outreaching branches of the mustard tree, where birds of different feathers would flock and seek shelter, His kingdom would provide faith, hope and love to people of all races and cultures on earth. Like leavened bread, it would grow to become the greatest influence in the world and in the hearts of men. In fact, the tide of Christian renewal continue to rise up to the present time.

The same thing may be said about our faith. It does not come to us like a torrent, or in the abundance of gifts or blessings. It usually comes as a personal, insignificant event, like a small seed that grows into a big mustard shrub. We hardly notice the transformation at first, but in subtle and inexplicable ways the Holy Spirit makes our spirit grow, just as a small amount of yeast makes a lump of flour expand into a tasty loaf of bread. As Jesus’ followers, we are witnesses to the expanding power of faith in our lives, as leavened by the Word of God. The Holy Spirit has opened our minds and hearts to the amazing wonders of His grace, especially when we serve God in our community, according to the lessons taught by our Lord in Holy Scriptures. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor.5.17)

Serving in God’s flock is being receptive to His Word. We may not be fully aware of the transformation happening within us, but the Word of God is a powerful agent of change. And that is how we become involved in spreading the kingdom of God.

Dear Father, our Lord Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is among you” (Lk.17:21). Grant that we may always nourish Your kingdom in our hearts by meditating on Your Word daily, and receiving Him constantly in the Holy Eucharist. Fill us with hope, and grant us a glimpse of Your Kingdom, that we may always be faithful to Your will. Amen.

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