Scripture: :Lectionary 480: Romans 8:18-25. Psalm 126:1-2.2-3.4-5.6. Luke
Luke has these two “kingdom parables” which are found also in Matthew
Matthew 13:31-32. Both are dependent upon the Sayings Source, a collection
of the words and parables of Jesus that was available before the Gospels of
Luke and Matthew were written. Luke rarely has parables of the kingdom.
When you read these two parables or similes what person do you think of in
the New Testament? Who would be small and hidden as a person? Jesus
tantalizes us with his colorful way of comparison and applies the mustard
seed and the yeast to the kingdom of God. We know the kingdom of God is
within us and is ever present. Directly Jesus is speaking about the way the
kingdom of God grows from a small beginning (Baptism) to full growth. At
first the kingdom seems hidden but then blossoms into the community of
disciples and the Church. But what would the parable be if we thought of a
person who knew Jesus and certainly had the kingdom of God within? This
person is Mary the Mother of Jesus who lives out the parable by the way she
looks upon herself as “tapenosis” the small lowly slave-servant of the Lord
yet she grows into an unforeseen and hidden grace of God—her calling to be
the mother of Jesus, the Son of God!
Many others could fit the parable as persons who are humble and are hidden.
Think of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus or of the many contemplative nuns
who have dedicated themselves to prayer and hiddeness.
Seeing God in these expressions of Jesus we grow. This is part of our
journey and it continues even when we think we are at the end of our
journey. Mary lives out this seeing of God and grows into a life totally
dedicated to God and her son. She does it simply and in a hidden manner.
We see her as a model of the Church and an excellent example of a person
who has the kingdom of God within herself. Her life was hidden in the
ordinary chores of the first century in the land of Israel.
“My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he
has regarded the lowliness of his servant.” (Luke 1:48). Amen.