He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
It never ceases to amaze me how God can take the littlest bit of effort or smallest step of faith on my part and turn it into something much larger than I can imagine. This Gospel passage about the mustard seed makes me think of the prayer entitled “Prophets of a Future Not Our Own.” By the grace of God, even the smallest of seeds is able to bring forth amazingly abundant fruit. We may not always realize the fruits of our efforts, or if we do it may be a long time before we see them. However, it is up to us to continue to work for the Kingdom of God and to continue to be faithful. God will do the rest.
The prayer says this about our small efforts of faith:
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.
—Mandy Dillon is a Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.
Lord, I trust that you will take whatever small steps I make in faith today and use them to build your Kingdom in whatever way you see fit. Help me to continue to be faithful in both large and small ways. Amen.