Just a Little for so Many

Matthew 13:31-35
Jer 13:1-11 / Deut. 32

It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full grown it is the largest of shrubs.
(Matthew 13:32)

To make the bread of life expand,
Mix a pinch of love as yeast, and knead,
Christ’s parables we’ll understand
With faith as small as a mustard seed.

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and dwell in its branches.” He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.” Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; He did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.” (Matthew 13:31-35)

Reflection

Our Lord was not speaking in parables to confuse His listeners, or to hide the true meaning of His teachings. He was in fact being faithful to Scriptures, fulfilling what was prophesied in Psalms 78:2- “revealing old mysteries which our ancestors have told us.” He also clothed His messages in parables in order to make them relevant to the contemporary setting, and at the same time allegorical to highlight the truth for all generations to understand throughout human history, as His parables were also meant to prophesy the future of His Church.

His “kingdom on earth” for instance, which is actually our Church, started out like a tiny mustard seed (just a few apostles), but now it is like a great tree, home for “many birds in its branches” — various Christian denominations, all children of the One True God. Our Church has also been like a yeast, mixed in with so much flour — the millions of former unbelievers, who would never have risen above their apathy or faithless state, had they not been infused with the Gospel values of our Lord Jesus.

We in the renewal are part of the yeast of the Kingdom of God. Like “the salt of the earth” that permeates the bland, and “the light on the lampstand that dispels the darkness,” God’s yeast will make His Church expand to all the corners of the earth. It is true that out of the many who are called, only a few are chosen, but in God’s kingdom, like salt, yeast, a single candle, or a mustard seed, only a little is required to make a great difference.

Our diocesan priests are few and far between, ministering one to 20,000. And yet a few of them still go periodically on mission to such places like Papua New Guinea to spread the Catholic faith and the Good News of Jesus to the far corners of the globe. Yesterday, we celebrated Mission Sunday. According to Fr. Sonny, a member of the Mission Society of the Philippines, who celebrated the 9:00 AM mass in our parish church, hundreds of thousands of these modern pagans in Africa and parts of Asia have been converted by such a “small measure of yeast”.

Like the tiny host that we receive when You come to us, Lord Jesus, so little is required to make the whole body renewed in Your Spirit. Thank You, Master for Your parables. Make us worthy to be the yeast of Your kingdom in our BCBP community as we strive to evangelize the marketplace. Amen.

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