Today’s Gospel is the well known account of Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed, its smallness in size yet the manner in which it grows and produces a tree capable of welcoming various birds to its branches. It is an apt way of describing the universality of the Church that blossoms from small acts of faith in the daily lives of its members.
The Church seems always to be a Church of contrasts. While it is true that salvation comes solely through the Catholic Church, it is also true that those who through no fault of their own have never heard the Gospel or known Jesus, can also be saved if they live morally upright lives in accord with the grace given them by God. While it is true that the Church is holy, it is also true that the Church, in its individual members, is marked by sin. While it is true that the Church is one, it is also true that it is many in its expressions and its cultural imprint.
It is good for us to remember that it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to change the world, our world, the world in which each of us lives. The size of a mustard seed.
Maybe we don’t want to think that way because if we do then we have to accept the responsibility which is ours to plant that seed, to spread that faith, to evangelize in our immediate surroundings. No one can exclude him or herself by claiming weakness of faith or poor knowledge. It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed. Others of us may not want to think this way because if we do, then we have to reverence each human person who searches in any way for God and the truth. We have to put aside our petty differences. We have to quit judging and being arrogant and self-serving because who knows, God may very well take someone whose faith is tiny and use that person to do great things, for greater things than he uses us. Thinking this way demands humility. It demands that we recognize that God is God and we aren’t him as the slang says.
There are a lot of those mustard seeds out there. Lots of them dropping to the ground awaiting a little sun and rain.
Nourish them, my friends, in the family, friends and parishes to which you belong. Nourish those whose faith is small… never judge.