A Homily Thread on the Parable of the Mustard Seed

Parable of the Mustard Seed etching by Jan Luyken 

Parable of the Mustard Seed etching by Jan Luyken 

Homily thread [on the Parable of the Mustard Seed for the Third Sunday after Trinity]:

It is easy to lose patience, to become frustrated with injustice in the world, frustrated with sin and corruption and ineffectual leadership in the Church, frustrated with the slow-to-the-point-of backing up growth of holiness in our own lives.

It's really easy to be impatient with the impatience of others. We want it all to happen now. But listen to our Lord's parables of the Kingdom. God is doing the building, not us.

Even in the natural world, he takes the tiny, insignificant mustard seed and he turns it into a plant that becomes a home for birds. Our Lord dies, his battered body is planted in the grave, and his body, and with it our frail humanity, is raised to new and eternal life.

And he takes twelve insignificant, often fearful, often doubting men in an insignificant backwater outpost of the Roman empire and builds a Church that fills the whole world, and so many of us have found rest in its shade.

So, patience. We must never look at the world, or at the Church, or at our neighbor, or in the mirror, and lose hope. And no cup of water given in Jesus' Name, no word of encouragement spoken, no act of love, no matter how small, is given in vain.

These are seeds scattered in the Lord's garden, and he will give the increase. He who began this good work, this Kingdom of righteousness, will bring it to completion in the day of Jesus Christ.

And God, as he always has, will use the most unlikely-seeming, the most insignificant-appearing, means to do it: a splash of water, hands laid upon a head and smudge of oil, a bit of bread and a sip of wine; a kind word; a sign held on a sidewalk; a whispered prayer.

He will use even you and me. /Amen.