Jesus reveals the unstoppable power of the Kingdom of God in the Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven. Every Catholic can grow in happiness by seeking the Fruit of Faithfulness from the Holy Spirit so he can remain faithful to Christ’s Holy Catholic Church despite scandals by some in the Church and by pursuing the Virtue of Hope so he can always trust that God can save the those scandalized by the evil of some who profess to be Catholic.
30th Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Lk 13:18-21
As crowds rejoice at His miracles and harsh rebukes of corrupt religious leaders, Jesus turns to the coming Kingdom of Heaven with two powerful parables which provide hope for those longing for the coming of God’s Kingdom.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed is powerful in multiple ways. The parable inspires hope among the disciples that Jesus’ Kingdom will come despite starting small (Acts 1:15 numbers the disciples after Christ’s Ascension at only 120). Like the mustard tree provides a home and savory seeds that feeds the birds, the Holy Catholic Church will be home to multitudes (“birds” is an allusion to the Gentile nations), feeding them with most savory of food, the Eucharist. For the individual, the parable reveals while most start with a small faith, with time and persistence of prayer (Lk 11:1-13) every soul can grow into sainthood.
In The Parable of the Leaven, Jesus reinforces the theme that the spread of the Kingdom of God is mysterious and far-reaching, but reveals the transformational impact of the Word of God. Jesus startles the audience with the woman’s bread-making effort: 3 measures of meal weighs over 90 pounds and would make countless loaves of bread. In contrast, the weight of the yeast is negligible, and yet, it leavens the massive amount of meal. So too, the Gospel (the leaven) systematically introduced into the world (meal), will be used by God to mysteriously raise millions of men to become sons of the Kingdom of God.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be impressed by how Jesus uses these ingenious parables to teach men across the millennia: Divine Knowledge, Jesus confirms the Truth (a part of Justice) of the supernatural reality of the Kingdom of God; Jesus uses Logic (a part of Reason), to give men a rational basis for Hope in the incomprehensible coming of the Kingdom; Divine Prophet, Jesus uses analogies common to human experience (the mysterious reality of the growth of crops, the amazing power of small amounts of leaven to raise huge amounts of flour) that men can comprehend, remember and repeat.
Despite scandals, remain faithful that the Church remains Holy
Realize: In recent times, the despicable and damnable sexual sins of a small number of priests (rape of children, homosexual acts) and coverups by some high-ranking clergy, have caused horrific scandal, with many millions doubting the holiness of a church that has allowed such evil to flourish.
Believe: Despite recent Scandals (CCC 29, 2284-2287, 2326), realize that Christ’s Holy Catholic Church remains unblemished and Holy (CCC 823-829, 867).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruit of Faithfulness so despite recent scandals, I absolutely trust that the Catholic Church remains unblemished and Holy and I remain steadfast and loyal to the Blessed Trinity and Your Holy Catholic Church.
Have great hope that God will save the scandalized
Realize: While remaining steadfast in faith in their personal lives during the dark days of the recent priest sex crimes and scandalous coverups, many faithful Catholic men experience deep despair over the growing exodus of millions of disgusted and disillusioned men, women and young people from Christ’s Holy Catholic Church, including many family members.
Believe: Reflect upon the Sin of Despair (CCC 2091) and the Virtue of Hope (CCC 1817-1821).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Hope so I am filled with confidence and happiness that Your Son’s call to all wayward Catholics will be heard, the Spirit will move in their souls, and that Your perfect will for them will be done, allowing the repentant to be received into Your glorious Kingdom of Heaven.