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Everything starts small. The mustard seed was a tiny seed that grew into a flowering bush; it was not mustard as we know it, but only a bush to give beauty and shelter. It can remind us of the beauty of creation, and of the caring shelter we can give to others. It is also a reminder that each of us began as a seed in the mother’s body, and grew with the plan of God. The love of God grows like that – it begins small with birth and with bap¬tism, and then grows wide so that we share our love of God. It is the same with marriage – love begins and then grows so that children and grandchildren and others may shelter in love. Love grows when love is given, in our immediate circle, and in our care for the wider world. Good friendship and love spreads out to many.
We want the kingdom of God on earth and God is saying that it grows slowly. It grows as we try to grow love, peace, justice and compassion. The shelter of the mustard bush is the mercy of God, encouraging our parish to be ‘an oasis of mercy‘(Pope Francis). It is not easy, as love and care for the really needy of¬ten meets with opposition. The kingdom of God grows with the help of God, and without this help, our efforts are in vain.
Fr Donal Neary, S.J