Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed

Today in our Gospel (Matthew 13: 31-35) we hear two parables in the relation to the kingdom of heaven – parables about the mustard seed and the yeast and the flour.

Fr Paul says both of these stories are stories of growth: a mustard seed is little more than a speck but it can grow to be a six-foot shrub within 12 months; and, if you’ve ever been in the kitchen or seen a cooking program or even tried yourself to add yeast in bread-making, the dough almost doubles in size before it is baked but you have to wait a period of time for the rising to take place.

The reason Jesus tells these two parables is that the crowds we hear of in the Gospels are wondering how Jesus and his disciples, a group of fishermen and tax collectors, are going to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven.  What Jesus is saying through these two parables is simply the message ‘Wait! Things do grow!’.  He is instructing the crowd to be patient, that it will happen but it takes time.

And so, Fr Paul reflects, it seems that the people of the Gospel are not unlike the people of today; always wanting instant gratification; always wanting that something here and now rather than be prepared to wait and watch it grow.

Fr Paul says that for our prayer today we might reflect on these questions: Who is it in my life that I can to be more patient towards? In what areas of my life, indeed within myself, do I need to be patient with?