The journey of a small beginning can be discouraging, tough, bleak and often disheartening but every great journey begins with the little steps.
The parable of today is highly inspirational and spiritual and can positively influence our lives if we apply the lessons positively.
If we are serious to be successful in our lives, do not despise the times of the early beginnings. It may look so discouraging at the moment but always remember that little steps often lead to greater achievement.
If we are also serious about our spiritual lives, do not forget that one day begins a journey. It takes little effort and little steps, one after another to reach a destination.
In today’s gospel, Jesus uses the parable of the mustard seed and the yeast to instruct his hearers on what the kingdom of God looks like.
In Matthew 13:31–32, Jesus describes the seed as the smallest of all seeds but when it grows, it becomes larger than any seed.
Today, Jesus says that though it is small, a man takes it and throws it into a garden, it grows larger. This makes the birds of the air come and take shelter on it.
He also compares it to yeast which a woman mixes with only three measures of flour and the flour leavens.
The Yeast and the Seed
From the readings, the mustard seed is very small and the yeast is only a leavening agent which causes a chemical change in any agent it is applied to. It is used in bread making.
These are just like the original agents which nothing has been acted upon. One thing about both is that they have the capability of growth. Spiritually, this can be applied to the gospel message. Inherent in the gospel is the capability to grow over time.
Practically, it is like a simple idea we have in our minds. Every idea has the propensity to enlarge into great achievement. In essence, the journey of a small beginning starts with an idea and a little step. There is always the original agent in every achievement.
The Working Agents
The working agents in these parables are the man in the parable of the mustard seed and the woman in the parable of the yeast.
The man has to throw the seed into his garden. Also, the woman has to take the yeast and mix it and without these two actions the seed may not germinate and the yeast will not leaven. The man who takes and the woman who mixes can be likened to our efforts.
When Jesus began his ministry, He did not come and fold his hands and watch things happen. He has to work. We are like the man and the woman.
In essence, this indicates those little efforts to work for the kingdom of God. We have to sow the seed of love, peace, forgiveness, kindness, to see the fruits of love, peace, kindness etc. One simple good act can have a domino effect.
Secondly, if you have an idea, the zeal and the hunger to touch souls or achieve something positive, we do not have to fold our hands waiting for God to send us manna from heaven.
We have to start making an effort. Little by little, we move. At a time, those little efforts will grow and accumulate over time. In essence, the journey of a small beginning moves with those little efforts we make. One step at a time.
The Acting Agents
The acting agents are the materials that acted on the seed and the yeast which necessitated the growth.
So in the parable of the mustard seed, the acting agent is the garden/ground and in the parable of the yeast, the acting agent is the three measures of flour.
Jesus has to begin with the twelve, then to the crowd who gather around Him both Jews and gentiles. Accordingly, we need the garden to sow our seeds.
The yeast has to be mixed with only three measures of flour for it to grow. You don’t need the crowd to start.
You don’t need many numbers to show a little act of kindness and all you need is to start with the little you can with the few around you. All you need is to show a little act of kindness to the much you can and hence begin from there. Consequently, the journey of a small beginning also needs the garden to sow your seed.
Jesus began as an itinerant teacher but today the church has grown to almost all over the world. Who wonders that a journey that began with only twelve apostles could be able to envelop the whole world.
Only a simple good act you did to just one person can affect the faith of many who are witnesses to that.
The End Point
Gradually the mustard seed grows and the yeast leavens. The full grown-mustard seed may reach ten feet or more in height.
The tree grows so big that even birds take shelter on it. So the kingdom of God that Jesus teaches, though it starts small, will shelter the nations of the earth.
This is because inherent in the seed is a hidden power that cannot but activates its growth. The Holy Spirit is always at work in the Church, so despite the challenges, the Church will always grow.
Secondly, inherent in man is that inner capability to grow and conquer challenges. What he needs is to continue to make little efforts.
He also needs to pray for the grace of God. Even the creation of the world did not happen at the twinkle of an eye.
Therefore, the journey of a small beginning always has a great end. Consequently, this happens if we can be patient and persevere to the end.
If a country needs positive change, they have to start the positive changes. If we need a true change in our lives, we have to begin.
We have to take the journey little by little and move one. There is always an endpoint and the end is always a great one.
When you meet challenges, do not give up, it is a sign you are not there yet. Just continue to move. May God be with you as you make a successful journey. Amen
You may read