YEAR B: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: REVELATION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mt. 13:31-35) Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells two parables about the Kingdom, the Parable of the Mustard Seed and the Parable of the Leaven. For some days, using parables, Jesus had revealed to us the Kingdom. These two parables digs deeper into this truth.
The Parable of the Mustard seed was conditioned by the previous parables. Seeds were sown but they grew according to the way they were received by the hearers of the Word. Everyone who hears had the opportunity to benefit from the Word. Some reaped its fruits while others had none. But the Word of God will not be in vain. The Kingdom which it was supposed to achieve will reach its great potentials. Like a mustard seed, it will develop phenomenally. Every letter of the word and every part of the letter will be fulfilled.
We saw that in Jesus and in the Church. Jesus was tortured and killed. Yet, from His death, the Christian Faith emerged and continue to exist and proclaim the Good News. The Church which was borne of Jesus’ mission also suffered persecution. The martyrs were living witnesses to Her persecution. Her persecutors had long been gone. But the Church founded by Jesus, the Word made flesh, persists. And it will never be annihilated by anyone or any circumstance. The Parable of the Leaven gives another aspect of the Kingdom. The leaven corrupts the bread. it works internally. We have heard Jesus talked about sinners who have listened to the Word and were converted. From these minute and humble events, the Church will grow to a dynamic force of change. These men and women who had shown that one who had gone astray may still be found. The testified that a second or series of chances may still result to conversion. They had given hope to the ostracized, condemned, left dead for good. And they had given birth to the power of resilience. But not without the work of the Holy Spirit. We are building here not an earthly kingdom but a heavenly one.
The Archdiocese of Manila’s Sanlakbay Program is a classic example of this. Sanlakbay was born out of the need to rehabilitate drug dependents. The Church offered to help government in addressing drug addiction. In our parish, there were some who responded and availed of our program. To make the long story short, those who humbled themselves and availed of the program were healed. They were glad to recover their dignity and confidence. Common to most of them was the joy of being recognised again by the members of their families. It was relatively a small victory. But when this is multiplied, the growth and development in the Church will be grand.
The Kingdom is for all, sinner or saint. Jesus, Himself, mentioned the allotment of a room for all of us in His Father’s house. It has a lot in store for us. Jesus wants us to belong to the Kingdom. Hopefully we will be able to realize its presence and offer. When we humble ourselves and aspire to get closer to God in faith, we not only grow in holiness, we also contribute to the growth and development of the Kingdom here and now.