Collect for the Week
O God, the protector of all that trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy,
that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal
that we finally lose not the things eternal.
Grant this, O heavenly Father,
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen APBA p.565
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 13: 31-35
He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’
He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.’
Jesus told the crowds all these things in parables; without a parable he told them nothing. This was to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet:
‘I will open my mouth to speak in parables;
I will proclaim what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.’
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Des Watson
In this passage of scripture Jesus speaks to the crowd of people using a parable, as he always did throughout the Gospels. We read earlier in verse 10 of this same chapter where the disciples asked Jesus, “why do you speak to the people in parables ?” Jesus replies to the disciples in verse 13 …. The reason I speak in parables is that “ seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.”
Jesus used parables to illustrate truths, stimulate thinking and awaken spiritual perception as the people were not ready for the full truth of the gospel. Now to the parable of the mustard seed ….. the smallest becomes the largest! The mustard seed is not the smallest seed known today, but it was the smallest seed used by Palestinian farmers and gardeners, and under favourable conditions the plant could reach a height of 3 metres, with branches that birds could perch upon.
By using this parable Jesus presents the full spectrum of the tiny mustard seed through to the fully grown tree, Illustrating that the kingdom of God seemingly had insignificant beginnings…
But a day will come when it’s true fullness, greatness and power will be seen by the entire world. Jesus’ words in both Matthew 17: 20 and Luke 17: 6 say to us “ If you have faith as small as a mustard seed…nothing will be impossible for you. “ We each individually have our portion of ‘faith beginning’… the moment when we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour….like the mustard seed, and given to each of us by God’s grace through the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.
Collectively, we can become part of the growth of God’s kingdom… branches of the mustard tree…witnessing to God’s word and reaching out to gather in people yet to experience that ‘small seed’ of faith through God’s grace.
I feel so often… I don’t have enough faith.
The world weighs me down; my family weighs me down.
I feel so often… surely I should cope?
Do I not have enough faith?
Jesus says… do you have a mustard seed?
Do you have that grain of hope,
that memory of grace,
the feeling of presence,
the acceptance of divine in human?
Do you trust me?
Yes, Lord Jesus.
Then, he says, with his arms around me,
it is enough. All shall be well.