Two common phrases we hear today are, “the bigger, the better! “And “the more the merrier!”. People want to live in the biggest house, drive the biggest car and belong to the biggest church. But Today’s Gospel reading presents a contrast to that in two brief parables. They both compare the reign of God to seeds. In the first one the seed grows mysteriously day by day. The second is about the mustard seeds that are very small but grow large enough to give shelter and shade. Big results from small beginnings.
In human terms a majority does not necessarily decide what is right. More often than not minorities have been the great “change agents” and carriers of truth for the rest of society. Renewal and revival have come through minorities. The abolition of slavery, the securing of Civil Rights, respect for human life, care for the environment, political reform and much more have come through small, dynamic and committed minorities.
Therefore, it is not the number of people who claim the name “Christian” that will change to world but the intensity with which they live their faith. The faith that makes a difference is not the one that grows outward but the one that grows within.
When we look at the beautiful world around us this Summer, we should call to mind the magnificent truth that the growth we see began with small seeds that grew slowly over the years. The same is true in our Church and in our spiritual life. Our spiritual vitality begins with a trickle of water at Baptism. It grows with a wafer of bread in Holy Communion and a smudge of Oil of Chrism at Confirmation. Slowly the graces planted through those sacraments can grow into an heroic and life-changing holiness that profoundly affects others. We sow the seeds and God will give the growth. Let us focus on faithful seeding, generous planting and leave the rest to God.