A Tiny Seed of Faith Can Move Mountains
7th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Archbishop Loren Thomas Hines
July 26, 2020
Readings: 1 Kings 3: 5 -12
Romans 8: 26 – 34
Matthew 13: 31 – 33, 44 – 49a
The Old Testament gives us a lot of information about God. But the rules and the regulations were not easily understood by man. God wanted man to understand these rules and so he sent His Son to make known these mysteries in parables. “Ask and you shall receive.” (Matthew 7:7). “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26) “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing His plan to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7)
The enemy tries to hinder us by taking away the time we need to be with God or to focus on Him. People become so busy with mundane things and are not listening to God. The Daily Office this morning reminds us about the plague. Isn’t this what is happening today with the Covid situation? Maybe God is letting us know that we should direct our attention on Him.
The Parable of the Mustard Seed. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.” The mustard seed is so tiny that we tend to neglect it. But inside it are the nutrients and the potential to become a large tree. A tree that is a source of life that when it grows it bears fruits. It is like God breathing life into us. The breath of God is so powerful, providing food, shelter and security. His Word is powerful.
The Parable of the Leaven. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like yeast, which a woman put into three measures of flour. When the yeast did its job, the whole mixture was transformed.” In baking, the yeast is mixed into the dough, the acts of kneading and pounding are needed to make it ready to be baked and become bread. Just a tiny yeast but when mixed with the right amount of dough becomes delicious bread for eating. We need to be strong in the midst of the storm – like a palm tree that stands strong in spite of the wind and rain.
The Pearl of the Hidden Treasure illustrates the great value of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sels all that he has, and buys that field. In the olden days when there were no banks, people would bury their riches and valuables in the ground, in the hope that when they return they could just dig these up again. We need to dig into the scriptures to bring out the hidden things of God. There is the necessity of seeking for the truth.
The Parable of the Pearl. (Pearl of Great Price) Pearls come from oysters and freshwater mussels as a natural defense against an irritant such as a parasite entering their shell to damage their body. This creates a material known as mother of pearl, which encases the irritant and protects it. And from this irritant, something valuable is produced from it. The Pearl of Great Price is Christ. He becomes an “irritant’ when He died, but out of this Irritant comes forth salvation, and a new hope for all mankind. The Kingdom is the most valuable of all, but people do not seem to value it because of so many hindrances. In life, we will encounter conflicts and struggles. It is important for us to have faith. If God’s seeds are planted in us and we allow them to grow, the Word in us could become really powerful.
The Parable of the Dragnet. “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea, and gathered some fish of every kind, which when it was filled, they drew up on the beach. They sat down and gathered the good into containers, but the bad they threw away.” The Kingdom involves everyone, good or bad. God is the Judge. The angels will come and remove the bad first to be burned, and the good will be gathered into the barn. The seeds God gives us should be firmly planted in our hearts. It takes time for these to grow. But there are no quick fixes. We have to be willing to wait.
Matthew 17: 20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Matthew 13:11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”
God loves us so much that He would send His Son to redeem us. He has given us a great life. God alone judges. We should not condemn others. God can change the bad to good. He does not fail.