Parables of the seed

Gospel Reading: Mk 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.

The kingdom of God
Jesus describes the nature of the Kingdom of God by the use of parables. The Gospel relates two, namely, the parable of the seed sown and the parable of the mustard seed. Their sowing and growth are not impressive. They start small but become big at the end. We do not notice the growth with our naked eyes.

In the First Reading, God will tear a tender shoot from the topmost part of the cedar (in Lebanon) and plant it in the mountains of Jerusalem. It is small and looks weak, but it will grow to become a majestic cedar where birds will make their nests. This is like God’s Kingdom as described in the vision of the prophet Ezekiel. The people of Israel will benefit from this. Soon the exiles whom the prophet addresses will go back to their homeland.

In the Second Reading, Paul talks about his courage and that of his fellow missionaries. They are willing to leave their bodies that are comfortable to dwell in, to go home to the Lord. We can understand this as God’s Kingdom in heaven, our final home.

Theologians teach us that the Kingdom of God can be here and now, though not complete or perfect. We can experience it in our homes and workplaces. As Christians, we need not focus our faith only on the hereafter. We can anticipate enjoying God’s Kingdom now by living authentically our faith and, concretely, by actively participating in the advancement of its values of justice, peace, charity, and prosperity.

* * *

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail:; Website: