January 29, 2016
Mk 4: 26-34
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. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
The parable of the mustard seed is well-known. But perhaps we all need to challenge ourselves to take a step back and to think creatively to find ways to plants seeds of faith and grow the kingdom of God in small ways within our families, within our circle of friends, within our work places, and within our communities. Pope Francis has been an example for all of us to serve the least of our brothers and sisters; to dialogue with and embrace those with various faith traditions; to live lives that are more simple, that are free from distractions and excessiveness, and to not partake in gossip and conversations which serve to tear others down as opposed to build them up.
What actions can I take to plant seeds of faith, seeds of hope, seeds of compassion and mercy, and seeds of love in the Kingdom of God here on earth?
—Leigh M. Hartley works in higher education administration at the University of Chicago. Over the past 15 years she has volunteered with the Jesuits, initially with Charis Ministries more recently years through planning and organizing pilgrimages with Fr. Michael Sparough, S.J.
When you plant a tree
every leaf that grows will tell you,
what you sow will bear fruit.
So if you have any sense, my friend
don’t plant anything but love,
you show your worth by what you seek.
Water flows to those who want purity
wash your hands of all desires and
come to the table of Love.
Do you want me to tell you a secret?
The flowers attract the most beautiful lover
with their sweet smile and scent.
If you let God weave the verse in your poem
people will read it forever.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!