REFLECTION FOR TODAY
October 26, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.” Lk. 13:18-19.
Jesus was rejected together with his message of the kingdom of God, but he never gave in. Today I our gospel reference, He uses the parable of the mustard seed to invite his disciples and all of us to consider God’s kingdom from a global perspective. This parable should be a source of great encouragement to us all as we seek to build up the Kingdom of God through apostolic works.
The parable of the mustard seed teaches us something about our apostolic works of charity. When we think about the call of discipleship and apostleship of spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth, what comes to mind? The first thought could be to consider those who have been entrusted with a very large, public, and vibrant ministry.
It is easier in this case to see the good fruit born of their apostolic works. But what about you? For most people, they may strive to love and serve others in every small way they can, and they fail to see the abundance of good fruit born from their efforts. When this happens, some may become discouraged and lose zeal for the spreading of the Gospel.
If this is you, then consider the mustard seed. Planting this small seed is representative of much of our apostolic endeavors. God calls us to do small acts of kindness, share our faith in subtle and even hidden ways, serve out of love even when it is unnoticed, and to do so without ceasing. Do these small acts bear fruit for the Kingdom of God? If you believe this parable of the mustard seed, then the answer must be a resounding “Yes.”
Jesus is calling us to apply the parable of the mustard seed on a personal level. When this is done, we will realize that the small things we do to make ourselves presentable to God can make an enormous impact. The daily smile, kind words and short prayers are but ways we can live this parable out.
Many times, in life, we will never see the full effects that our actions have on others. Our negative influence will affect them far more than we realize. And our loving acts of charity, by which we share our faith, will also affect people far more than we realize. Believing in the message of this Parable of the Mustard Seed should lead us to believe that planting those small seeds of faith, through our charity, virtues, and words, will indeed bear an abundance of good fruit, far more than we may ever know, until we enter the glories of Heaven.
Reflect, today, upon your duty to daily plant the smallest seeds of faith and love. Do not get discouraged if your efforts do not bear abundantly obvious fruit. Simply commit yourself to the planting, over and over. Take delight in sowing the seed of faith and see this as your mission. If you do this throughout your life, from Heaven you will look back and be amazed at how God powerfully brought forth His Kingdom through those seemingly insignificant acts of faith and love.
Lord, You desire that Your Kingdom grow far and wide through our efforts of love. Please do use me, dear Lord, to plant Your seeds of faith and charity every day. May I never tire of these apostolic endeavors, and may I always take great delight in serving You and building Your Kingdom in every way I can. Jesus, I trust in You.