27th July.

Today’s gospel is the Parable of the Mustard Seed.

GOSPEL                              Matthew 13:31-35
A mustard seed becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.’

Jesus put a parable before them, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest shrub of all and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and shelter in its branches.’


He told them another parable, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.’

In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables. This was to fulfil the prophecy:

I will speak to you in parables and expound things hidden since the foundation of the world.

In my few words after the gospel I spoke about one of the favourite phrases of St John Paul II: Man discovers himself through a sincere gift of himself to others. This is to be seen in the parable of the mustard tree whose existence is not meant for itself or just to look pretty but to give shelter to the birds of the air. This living for others can be seen most especially in Jesus himself. In last Saturday’s gospel for the feast of St James, he gave us the only single sentence/verse description of his messianic mission to be found in the gospels: The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Matt 20:28) Mary at the Annunciation said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.

We will grow spiritually in proportion to our living out this principle of living for others.