REFLECTION FOR TODAY
July 26, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
He spoke to them another parable. “The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” Matt. 13:33
Jesus never stops speaking to the people in parables. After talking about the parable of the mustard seed, He speaks again of the transforming effect of yeast. Yeast is powerful and important item in baking. Though it often accounts for only about 1% of a loaf of bread, it causes the loaf to more than double in size. The yeast has the amazing effect of turning the dough soft and flexible as it rises. Without yeast, the dough would remain stiff and much smaller in size. The dough would not become the bread it was meant to be.
A lot of Church Fathers has given some interpretations to our gospel reference today. Some say that the three measures of flour represent the spirit, soul and body into which the Gospel is inserted. Others say the three measures of flour represent either three different kinds of persons or three levels of fruitfulness in our lives.
The yeast is understood by some as the message of the Gospel in the Scriptures and by others as charity that must permeate our lives and the world. The parables of Jesus, and all his teaching offer us many levels of understanding and meaning that are all correct and consistent with each other. One of the most important questions to ponder is this: What does God want to say to you through this parable?
If you consider yourself to be the three measures of flour, and the yeast to be God, His holy Word and His gentle but clear Voice speaking to you, in what concrete ways do you see your life rising as a direct result? How do you see yourself becoming that which you are intended to be because of God entering your life? And do you see the effect as one that is truly transforming and even exponential?
The Word of God may have little to no effect on our lives, this is because we do not allow God to do His transforming work. A lump of dough left to itself remain just a dough. But when the yeast is added to it, a marvelous change take place. The dough rises into rich wholesome bread, a staple of life. Just as a dough must be kneaded to make the leaven take effect so must we endure some pummeling and stretching by the Holy Spirit if our way of thinking and acting are to be changed and renewed.
Sometimes we can also become impatient with the workings of God. If we are impatient with God’s grace, then it may be like taking the dough and kneading it over and over before it even has a chance to work. The lesson from this parable is that God’s kingdom will grow as we allow His word to take deep root in our hearts and minds.
Reflect, today, upon this short but powerful parable. See yourself as that dough and see God and His action in your life as the yeast. As you sit with that image in a prayerful way, let God reveal how He wants to work in you and how He wants to transform you. Pray for patience. Trust that if you receive His transforming Word into your soul, then He will do what He wants to do. And trust that if this happens, you will indeed become the person God wants you to become.
Lord, You desire to enter deeply into my life and to permeate all that I am. You desire to change me, little by little, making me into the person You want me to become. Please help me to be attentive to all that You desire to do in me and to patiently await the transformation that You have already begun. Jesus, I trust in You.