Like a mustard seed


The parable on the seed growing secretly and that of the mustard seed give us a glimpse of what the Kingdom of God is like or how it develops.

Like a seed that sprouts and grows without us noticing it, the Kingdom can also grow unnoticed or without spectacular signs. We see what happens to a seed or corn or rice that is sown: as soon as the seed germinates, one thing leads to another, until we have ears or grains of corn or rice ready for harvest.
In the parable of the mustard seed, the focus is on the idea that the Kingdom does not need any giant or huge “seed” for it to become the majestic Kingdom of God. It can grow from a mere “mustard seed,” supposedly the tiniest of seeds of its kind. The tiny delicate seed is now a tall bush with lush leaves and abundant branches where birds can build their nests. So also, undertakings that are carried out to promote peace, justice, solidarity, etc., can begin with just a handful people joined together by a common purpose and propelled by the Spirit. They grow into big and vibrant institutions. These small initiatives are indeed like mustard seeds that grow unnoticed until one day people are just surprised by how much they have grown and accomplished. Small, indeed, can be beautiful, to paraphrase the title of one Economics book.

Gospel • Mark 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”
He said, “To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2023,” St. Paul’s, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: