YEAR B: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 17TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE LITTLE BEGINNINGS
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches. * (Matthew 13:32)*
Just yesterday, we saw what Jesus did with the five little loaves and two little fishes. Today, Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which at first is the smallest of all seeds but grows eventually into a tree capable of housing the birds of the air or like the little leaven which mixes perfectly three whole measures of flour.
What do these parables teach us? God wants us to change our understanding of “little” or “small.”
The distance between you and sainthood is just one little step in the right direction. A good act done today is like a tiny mustard seed that is sown upon the ground, or like a spoon of leaven capable of mixing a large quantity of flour.
For instance, helping a poor little child with food this afternoon may seem like nothing but such an act is a seed. When you continue doing it, you may just become the next Mother Theresa of our time. Someone may be inspired by your action and this could become the beginning of a chain of positive actions. The child may never forget that experience and may eventually grow up to become a very generous person based on this little seed.
The first time you do something is always the hardest time. Beginnings can be very deceptive and discouraging. Hence, the parable of the mustard seed is one parable we must keep reminding ourselves of when we feel discouraged.
For instance, you have a bad habit and you become determined to replace this habit with a virtue. With this decision, the grain of mustard seed has been planted, the kingdom of God has started growing in that particular dark area of your life. At first, satan tries to snatch this seed, he gives you reasons upon reasons why it won’t work. The more you return again and again to that virtue, you become like one planting on different types of soil until you get it right.
Jesus told us that the kingdom of God begins like a mustard seed, he did not tell us how many seeds. You have to keep planting until it grows. Robert Kiyosaki, the author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” said when he was told that “nine out of ten businesses do not survive their first birthday,” he became determined to start one hundred businesses in the hope of creating at least ten successful businesses.
Do not be discouraged by your failures in spiritual life. Keep planting. Keep applying your little leaven. You know, when we invert it, all these evils we see in our society today can be traced to some particular individuals. One day, one person decided to walk across the street naked and before you know it, all our young boys and girls are doing the same. What was once condemned has become the norm. If evil can spread, good which is more powerful can also spread like these wildfires happening in Greece, California and other parts of the world right now.
In our first reading, God laments the level of moral degradation in the society. He told Jeremiah to buy a waistcloth (undies) and place it in the Euphrates in the cleft of the rock. When he placed it, it was still good but by the time he went back for it, it had become spoilt. When society places values in the wrong places, the total corruption of society as a whole is unavoidable.
Let us never be discouraged by little good acts. We may seem like small persons but we are always more powerful than we imagine.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, may I never lose hope in what is good. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of the 17th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Jeremiah 13:1-11, Psalm: Deuteronomy 32:18-21, Matthew 13:31-35).