The Gospel for today begins with Jesus telling the crowds, “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God.” He proceeds to share two parables about seeds. First the seed that, seemingly without any help other than us scattering it, sprouts and grows. The other parable is the familiar story of the tiny mustard seed. In both these parables, Jesus teaches us that the Kingdom of God begins simply. It emerges in unexpected ways and from unexpected sources.
I’m not sure I ever really paid much attention to Lois and Eunice mentioned in St. Paul’s letter to Timothy, the first option of readings on this feast of Saints Timothy and Titus. These women, Timothy’s grandmother and mother, were clearly early believers. Paul says that Timothy’s faith “first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice.” Just like the small seed of Jesus’ parables, faith took root in the hearts of these women and from there spread to Timothy.
Nothing more is known about these women. They are not famous but for this brief mention. Yet it is in these women that the Kingdom of God found a place to take root and grow. So often we look around for the grand appearance of God. We look for the miraculous event. We search from the heroic saint. We long to see God revealed in extraordinary revelations.
Perhaps God might be better sought by paying attention to the ordinary lives of people like Lois and Eunice. Can we look back over the day and see the Kingdom of God sprouting in the most unlikely of places? In the kindness of a stranger? The smile of a co-worker? The vulnerability of a new born child? Let us look into our own hearts to see how faith has taken root in our lives. Sure, there are some annoying thistles and rocky ground in there, and it may need some nurturing, but it is there and it is growing.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and was the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.