“[The mustard seed] becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.'”

We are graced with two more parables on the Kingdom from the lips of Jesus (Mt 13:31-35).  The first is of the tiny mustard seed that grows so large that birds can live there.  The second is of the yeast that leavens an entire batch of bread.  Matthew tells us that Jesus only spoke to the crowds in parables thus fulfilling the prophecy of Psalm 78 (see v. 2).  The verse highlighted at top evokes Ez 17:23.  There the wording is slightly different thus adding insight: “Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it.”  The Kingdom, most visible in the Church, is meant to be diverse.  All are welcome to join.  We are called to witness to the good news of the Kingdom (cf. Mt 24:14) so that all persons will seek to find a place in it.  But first we must be comfortable in its midst.  Any doubts we harbor, any grudges we maintain, any teachings we question must be resolved.  Anything that separates us from the whole Church will weaken any efforts we make to bring others in and may even scandalize seekers if these concerns become known.  Love the Church and assent to its teachings.  In the Church our true home is found.  It is one we make attractive to outsiders through our personal conversion, confession, penance, and reconciliation.  May we never let our words or actions deter or discourage someone from a journey to the Church.  May our lives always reflect the joy and hope (gaudium et spes) we have as members of Christ’s body.

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