Fr. Mike’s Daily homily for Tuesday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Fr. Mike’s Daily homily for Tuesday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: The kingdom of God

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

 

Homily for Tuesday October 26 2021

Tuesday – Week 30
October 26, 2021
Lk 13:18-21

Then he said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in the garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.’”
Again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed [in] with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

“What is the kingdom of God like?” The first thing we must understand is that it is not a territory or a geographical place. The Greek word for this is ‘basileia’, which is more accurately translated as ‘kingship’ or ‘reign’.

Jesus, the Incarnate Son of God, is the very embodiment of the kingdom of God. Wherever Jesus is, there is the kingdom of God. Origen, one of the Fathers of the Church, refers to Him as the ‘autobasileia’, the “Kingdom in person”. In his book, “Jesus of Nazareth”, Pope Benedict XVI wrote: “Jesus himself is the Kingdom; the Kingdom is not a thing, it is not a geographical dominion like worldly kingdoms. It is a Person; it is He…By the way in which He speaks of the Kingdom of God, Jesus leads men to realize the overwhelming fact that in Him God Himself is present among them, that He is God’s presence” (p. 49).

In the Gospel today, Jesus gives two parables to describe the kingdom of God. First, He compares it to a mustard seed which a man planted in his garden. It is a very tiny seed, yet it eventually grew into a large bush where birds build their nests. The Church that Jesus established began very small, with only a very few disciples.

Like a seed, small and hidden, the Church has so much power and potential for growth and fruition. Persecutions, heresies, schisms and countless attacks have not in any way prevented her rapid growth and spread all over the world. This parable, therefore, should give us great hope and confidence, especially during these times when the Church is being subjected to relentless and vicious attacks by the enemies from all fronts. She will, as always, emerge victorious over all these because of the abiding presence of Jesus who solemnly promised: “the gates of Hell shall not prevail over it.”

This image should encourage us to persevere in the path of righteousness and holiness. There are times when we feel we are the minority being marginalized by society. It is as if we are rowing against the tide, waging a losing battle. But we have nothing to fear: “If God is with us, who can be against us?” In the end, we will always prevail.

In the second parable, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a small amount of yeast that is mixed into a batch of dough for bread. It is just a small amount, and when mixed with dough, it is not any more visible. Yet, its powerful presence cannot be ignored. In due time, it makes the whole dough swell and rise twice its size.

This is an accurate image of how the kingdom of God spreads through the world. The Church is in the world precisely to renew it from within, like a leaven. Invisible, but a powerful agent of change and transformation. As Christians, we are called to be agents of the kingdom. Hence, as Vatican II asserts, we “are not only bound to penetrate the world with a Christian spirit, but are also called to be witnesses to Christ in all things in the midst of human society” (GS 43).

We are in the world, but we cannot conform with its values. We must keep our distinctively Christian identity and vision just as the yeast, though invisible, remains distinct from the dough it is transforming. Though hard to admit, the reason why the world is turning rapidly from bad to worse is because of the failure of many Christians to give witness to their faith. Vatican II makes this apt observation: “This split between the faith which many profess and their daily lives deserves to be counted among the more serious errors of our age” (GS 43).

In closing, let us ponder on the words of St. John Chrysostom: “There would be no need for sermons, if our lives were shining. There would be no need for words, if we bore witness with our deeds. There would be no pagans, if we were true Christians.”

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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