First Reading: Ezekiel 17:22-24
Thus says the Lord GOD: "I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it out; I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it upon a high and lofty mountain; on the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar; and under it will dwell all kinds of beasts; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it."
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 92: 2-3, 13-16
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to thy name, O Most High; to declare thy steadfast love in the morning, and thy faithfulness by night, The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD, they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green, to show that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.
Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
And he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
How constantly does Christ give us examples of “the little way”? Let the children come unto me. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed
Like many people, I desire to have a profound impact in the world. I simultaneously struggle with the basic steps of loving the people closest to me. Like most mothers, I wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice my life for my kids. I would hurl my body in front of a car to push them to safety without a second thought. The irony is that I often can’t bring myself to get off the couch to play with them.
I think most people have a hero inside of them when presented with the right situation. Someone is in dire need and you can help, so you do! You stop your life and help! You save the day!
But we aren’t presented with these situations very often. Instead we’re given a life full of what I shall call "Mustard Seed Moments." Moments when we can participate in an unsung act of self-sacrifice.
You could shut down the conversation with that annoying colleague or you could ask her about her weekend.
You could nag your spouse about the socks in the middle of the floor, or you could pick them up, and not even hold it against him.
You could choose this moment to live well, to love well.
This moment is the only moment you have to live well and every flourishing palm tree and every high and green cedar of Lebanon began as something inconspicuous and overlooked.
The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed sown into the ground.
Jesus didn’t say: In some ways the Kingdom of God is like Niagara Falls, but in other ways it’s like this little mustard seed, so those of you toiling in your little lives need to feel like you’re valuable too. You’re valuable even though you’re just sowing this mustard seed.
Instead, Jesus said that the Kingdom of God “is like a grain of mustard seed which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth.”
Look for that moment today. That moment when you can do the right thing or the wrong thing and virtually no one will ever know. And in that moment choose goodness and know that you are sowing the kingdom of heaven.
Kate Rhodes is the wife of a lanky carpenter and mother to two littles. She used to teach English, but then she joined the ranks of SAHMs. You can find out more about her here.