Reflection on the Daily Readings for 7/27/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture for Mon. of 16th week. Exodus 32:15-24,30-34. Psalm 106:
19-20,21-22, 23. Matthew 13:31-35. Lectionary # 401:
Chapter thirteen of Matthew is the beginning of the third collection of
sermons of Jesus in this well structured Gospel. Parables are emphasized
throughout the chapter and they all deal with the kingdom or reign of God.
We know that Jesus came to bring this about and now he is teaching the
crowds and the apostles about the kingdom of God through these picturesque
and homely examples called parables. It takes a special teacher to use
parables and Jesus is the teacher par excellence in this way of preaching
and teaching. Matthew directs them all to the kingdom more than the other
evangelists. John does not use parables His Gospel is more of signs and
similies like the vine and the branches.
Within the past days we are listening to these parables and today we have
two favorites, that of the mustard seed and that of the woman putting
leaven into the dough to make it bread. These are brief and colorful and
not too difficult for us to apply them in the way Jesus intended them to be
used, namely, in speaking about the reign or realm of God. The kingdom, of
course, is more expansive than the Church and we do well to listen to these
parables to learn about the kingdom. By listening to them and then
pondering them over and reflecting upon them we will grow in our
understanding of the kingdom of God which Jesus brings among us and which
he tells us is also within us if we have believing and listening hearts.
The mustard seed was considered proverbially as one of the smallest seeds
during the time of Jesus. Some preachers bring in a single grain and pass
it around to the people to examine just how small it is. The beginning of
the kingdom within us and in the world has such a small beginning but does
slowly grow into a rather large bush for all the birds of the air to settle
within it. The parable of the leaven that the woman takes and kneads into
the mass of dough will result in a large loaf of bread. Here again
something that was considered hidden and small has a large outcome once it
is mixed and baked into the bread.
Today we can take the time to recall these simple parables and ponder them
over and then apply them to the way we can help the kingdom of God grow
within our hearts and then to reach out to others with these examples as a
point of motivational departure from self to others. Amen.