Transformation

Luke 13: 18-21
Eph 5:21-33 / Ps 128

“What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a tiny mustard seed that a person took and planted in a garden; when it was fully grown it became a large bush…”
(Luke 13:18-19)

Without faith we can never see
How serving others can set us free.
God’s Kingdom is such a mystery
As a tiny seed becomes a tree.

Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a tiny mustard seed that a person took and planted in a garden; when it was fully grown it became a large bush, and the birds of the sky came and found shelter among its branches.” He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? It is like yeast used by a woman making bread. Even though she used a large amount of flour, the yeast permeated every part of the dough.” – Luke 13:18-21

Reflection

Our Lord’s two short parables in today’s Gospel spoke about the same prophecy that would transpire within His small band of followers. In just a single generation after His resurrection and ascension into heaven, Christ’s Good News of salvation would spread like wild fire all over the Roman empire and beyond, to the whole civilized world. Like the outreaching branches of the mustard shrub, where birds of diverse plumage would flock and seek shelter, His kingdom would provide faith, hope and love to people of all races and cultures on earth.

The Kingdom of God began as a small and insignificant rag-tag band of mostly ignorant fishermen. But like leavened bread, it grew to become the largest and most powerful ‘kingdom’ in the world and in the hearts of men. Of course the process did not happen overnight, but more than 2,000 years to develop into what it is now.

The gift of faith does not come to us like a torrent, or in the abundance of gifts or blessings. It usually comes as a small, insignificant event, just as a huge tree comes from a small seed. We hardly notice the transformation at first, but in subtle and inexplicable ways the Holy Spirit will make our spirit grow, just as a lump of flour expands into a tasty loaf of bread with just a small amount of yeast. In the same way, our mission to open an outreach in Mati, Davao Oriental will take a long process, probably five months or so. But we are confident of its success, because we have already planted the “mustard seed” in a band of 12 dedicated men and women who have finished their formation in our community. We see in their enthusiasm the work of the Holy Spirit, and this has infected many others to join the mission.

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. When we serve in God’s community, we become 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 His kingdom among men.

Father God, expand our capacity to serve You in our community. Fill us with hope and inspiration, and grant us a glimpse of Your Kingdom, so that we may never be discouraged to follow Your will in our mission. Amen.

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