Mustard Seed

June 13, 2021 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

+ Manny Cabajar, C.Ss.R. D.D.

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A grieving mother, unable to bear the burden of sadness due to her son’s death, goes to a wise hermit who tells her, “What you need is a special kind of mustard seed. Find a home where there is no grief like yours, get a mustard seed from the garden, bring it to me, then I will show you how to deal with your grief.” Strange advice! But she sets off on this unusual quest.

      The first house she approaches is that of a rich family. Is this by any chance where there’s no experience of grief as I have in losing my son? The woman who answers the door bursts into tears. “You just came to a worse place. Let me tell you about grief!” She describes the tragedy her family suffers. The woman who lost her son listens, amazed that one so rich can meet such a disaster. “My experience makes me the kind of person who may understand.” So, she stays a while, counsels the rich woman who appears able to cope a little better. She goes off to continue her journey.

      You guess what follows. The next house is exactly the same: nice on the outside, a sad story inside. Again she leaves but only after helping as best she can. Then, on to the next house of grief; and the next. The curious result is that she gradually forgets her own grief and becomes more focused on helping others. The quest for a mustard seed leads her to where her grief is but a memory while something else grows in its place. Truth emerges in imperceptible ways as in the mustard seed parable.

      The Kingdom of God grows in us like a tiny mustard seed. To find wonder in what is small is as good a place as any to start. Our own start in the Kingdom may be as small as the baptism of a child. But we see the potential in a tiny child introduced with the parents into the life of the Christian community through baptism just as Jesus saw the potential in His disciples entrusted with the next stage of growth. Might it be that, despite our humble beginnings, limitations and failures we too are needed, like the grieving woman who lost her son, as God’s Kingdom continues its mysterious growth? 

      We may not have the chance to do the big, heroic things. But we daily have the chance to do the small ones that show Christian values – the smallest act of kindness, the little gesture we offer a sick friend, the forgiveness we give in our family and to one who injured us. Small seeds, perhaps, but will bear fruit ten, twenty, forty years from now!

      Brothers and sisters, we ask the Lord to transform us into Christ-like holiness, increase our zeal for His Kingdom and instill in us a desire to live for His greater glory. Amen.



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