Nourishing Growth as We Scatter Seeds

Nourishing Growth as We Scatter Seeds

     Have you ever planted a seed and watched it grow into a plant or maybe a tree? Or have you ever seen bread rise after a small amount of yeast was put into the dough? If you have ever noticed, seeds and bread are often mentioned in the Gospels. Thus, these must signify something quite important. In today's Gospel passage they are used to describe the Kingdom of God.

     The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds and grows wild in Israel and Palestine - sometimes as large as a tree. I believe a seed was created to bring forth life. Having seen a flower growing in a crevice on a mountainside or in the crack of a sidewalk, I know that seeds must be tenacious about life even if it means dying in order to accomplish this.

     The seed of God's life was implanted in us at our birth and was enriched with unimaginable love and mercy through the Word and Spirit at Baptism. The seed of that love is tenacious for life, but it involves our dying to what impedes its growth. It also impels us to nourish and share that life with others. We are building the Kingdom of God here on earth by our dying, rising, and "scattering" the seed.

     The second image is the small amount of yeast that causes the bread to rise.  It permeates the entire loaf producing food to eat.  How many of us have smelled the aroma of bread baking and can hardly wait for a slice with some melted butter when it comes out of the oven!  We enjoy it with a smile on our face.

     Jesus uses this image to emphasize that the Kingdom of God is each one of us being like a little bit of yeast growing and expanding our lives together, sharing the food of the Word and the Gifts of the Spirit with all we meet, and feeding one another each day.

     These are wonderful images, but in Paul's letter to the Romans he tells us it is not going to be easy.  He describes it as "all creation groaning in labor pains...and we groan within ourselves."  But he says it is hope that sustains us as "we wait with endurance."  It is not going to happen overnight.  

     Today we may want to take some time to ask ourselves:  

-  Is the "plant" God intended to grow within me drooping or withering?  How am I nourishing it each day?  Am I tenacious about living the life I am called to live?

-  Has my little bit of yeast gone stale, and so I am like a dent in the bread of community life?  How can I be like the slice of fresh bread that brings nourishment and joy to those I meet?

Let us share the gift of hope with one another as we build the Kingdom of God!

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