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I Will Open My Mouth in Parables
Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.” He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to recognize the kingdom present in mystery and participate in building your kingdom here on earth.
- Hidden in Mystery from the Foundation: Jesus’s veiled parables speak of one of the most profound mysteries of God’s plan. To grasp it, we must consider the beginning in the book of Genesis, through the sacrifice of the cross in the Gospels, and on to the book of Revelation. God desired to create man in his image, to give the gift of himself in an intimate relationship to the summit of his creation, the human person. But God’s gift of friendship was rejected. The Lord’s sovereign reign, where all good things will be given in and through him, was cast away. What did the Father do when human freedom rejected his gift? The Father worked with human freedom, preparing the way to establish his reign and invite us to enter into his presence, his kingdom, once again. The key was his Son, Jesus Christ. We enter the kingdom through the heart of Christ, a heart that suffered and died to expiate our sins and enable us to enter into relationship with God once again. The mystery of the kingdom, present in Christ’s body as sacrament, is already present, yet is still being fulfilled until the end times.
- Mustard Seed and Yeast: Jesus utilized two powerful images to give us a clue about the kingdom of heaven. He likened it to a mustard seed and yeast. Mustard seeds are the tiniest of seeds, just a small particle in one’s hand that can easily be swept away by a current of wind. But in its humble beginnings lies great potential. A mustard seed grows into “the largest of plants.” A little bit of yeast goes a long way in leavening bread, allowing it to expand and provide sustenance to many. So it is with the kingdom of heaven. In humility, Jesus brought about the greatest of acts—salvation. His kingdom grows in unseen ways wherever his grace is present. All it takes is a small, humble act of faith to allow God to plant and grow his kingdom within.
- Branches and Leaven: As we allow ourselves to be converted and further evangelized by the Lord, we grow in friendship with him. His life becomes our life. He permits and makes our lives bear fruit for his kingdom. We become the “branch” and “leaven” in the dough as we participate in the sacramental life of Jesus Christ, present and hidden in mystery. Let’s ask for Jesus’s life to grow in us so that we may also be his humble and worthy disciples, bringing many people to discover the treasure of faith we have just begun to uncover.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, I believe that you are present in your most holy sacraments and wherever your grace abounds. Grant that I may seek you out, welcome you, and live according to your heart, humble and hidden, ready to sacrifice out of love for others.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will recognize that in my littleness, the Lord can do great things if I remain united to him in prayer and grace. I will reflect on how to protect my life of grace daily.
For Further Reflection: Grace: What It Is and What It Does, Catholic Answers.
Written by Jennifer Ristine.
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