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It is wonderful to see Jesus, again and again, looking at life and at what’s happening around Him, for things and images that might help the people to detect and to experience the presence of the Kingdom.
In today’s Gospel, again, he tells two short stories about things that happen every day in our lives: the story of the seed that grows all on its own, and the story of the tiny mustard seed that grows to be so big.
The story of the seed that grows all on its own:
The farmer who plants the seed knows the process: first the seed, then the green shoot, the leaf, the ear and the grain. The farmer knows how to wait and will not cut the stalk before it is time, but he does not know from where the power comes for the soil, the rain, the sun and the seed to make a seed turn into fruit. That’s what the kingdom of God is like. It’s a process. There are stages and points of growth. It takes time and happens in time. The fruit comes at the right time but no one can explain its mysterious power. No one is its master. Only God!
The story of the tiny mustard seed that turns into something very big:
The mustard seed is small, but it grows, to the point where the birds can make their nests in its branches. That’s what the Kingdom is like. It begins as something very small. Then it grows and spreads its branches. The parable does not say who the birds are. The answer to that question will come later in the Gospel. The text suggests that it refers to the pagans who will not be able to get into the community and be sharers in the Kingdom.