In today’s passage from Luke Jesus answers the question "What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it?" Jesus then compares the Kingdom to a tiny mustard seed which grows into a large bush, sheltering the birds of the sky in its branches. Let’s reflect on this comparison.
The Kingdom of God is Dynamic
The Kingdom of God, like the mustard seed, is constantly evolving and growing, it is not static. It is not rigid and is very responsive to its environment, to the signs of the times. We can’t make the mistake of trying to codify or envelop the Kingdom of God with our own definitions, terms and restrictions. The Kingdom of God is full of surprises!
The Kingdom of God is Systemic
The Kingdom of God, like the mustard seed, is an inter-connected reality. Any one part of the Kingdom is connected to and impacts every other part. This is why one Kingdom-building action from me will result in a favorable impact on our growth as a whole Kingdom. My smile, touch, word of encouragement will impact the entire Kingdom of God! We suffer, triumph and pray together as one and nothing can separate us from each other and the love of God.
The Kingdom of God is Sensitive
The Kingdom of God, like the mustard seed, is easily impacted by our every thought, feeling and action. Remember the physicists’ favorite reality; the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in one part of the world can lead to a hurricane in another part. The Kingdom of God is sensitive to initial conditions. Like "paying it forward", one small action such as a kind word, a simple gift of time or an earth-friendly gesture can provide a place for others, like the birds of the sky, to have shelter and peace.
Today as we reflect on the mustard seed and our role in building the Kingdom of God, we proclaim with Psalm 126, "The Lord has done marvels for us"!
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D. is a member of our Passionist Family who volunteers at the Passionist Assisted Living Community in Louisville, Kentucky.