The Kingdom of God is not usually one of our priorities. The Kingdom of the United States economy is what most of us consider. The wars throughout the world make the headlines. Big fish eats the little fish. The powerful overtake the weak.
In the midst of our busy lives we have difficulty contemplating a mustard seed. Of all the possible images that Jesus could have used, the mustard seed was His choice. Not very exciting. As the Lord mentions, it is the smallest of seeds. Perhaps that is precisely the reason that Jesus identifies the Kingdom of God to an insignificant seed. Small beginnings make for endless possibilities. For instance, when we risk speaking about Christ to someone who might have doubts. We don’t know the consequences of the little seed that can be planted in the heart of a person, especially one who is on the fence about the Faith. No secret, almost 60-70% of Roman Catholics do not come to church on the weekend. (That’s on a good day—like Ash Wednesday or Easter Sunday.) Think about what happens during the summer, when even the faithful ones take a vacation from God. Obvious, that as a Community of believers we are falling behind in our responsibilities of evangelization. You heard correctly, the responsibility belongs to all of us. Concern for lazed Catholics is not just up to the Pope or our Bishop or parish priest—needs to be everyone’s concern. The mustard seed—the seeds of Faith that were planted at their Baptism can be in danger of dying. No water, no nourishment—no one has bothered to help the seeds to grow.
Certainly God gives Faith; God makes the miracle; God brings back the lost sheep. However, He uses us as His instruments. Not to advocate the use of electronic gadgets, but they can make an impression: Facebook, emails, texts messages. A vast number of people are tuned in everyday (Maybe they have nothing better to do.) They are watching—waiting for a good word—a positive word in the meaningless jungle of information. So one quote from the Bible; a welcome back to the Catholic Church; a reminder that God loves us without conditions—can serve to help a person who is struggling. Electrical stuff aside, much more effective is the effort we make speaking to someone face to face. Opportunities are present every day—in our family, where we work—at our school. Truth be told, sometimes we are afraid. Or we think that we don’t know enough. Or we will be embarrassed if we can’t answer a question.
Remember that our Faith is not about information but about transformation. We want to walk with others, not necessarily ahead of them or behind them but side by side. We are all fellow pilgrims. There are common denominators among us. We want to love and to be loved. We all want to know that there is something better after we die. Therefore sharing our Faith is not so much about discussing the Vatican Bank or the use of holy water or whether or not priests should be allowed to get married. We want to meet people in their weaknesses, which are probably the same ones we have. We are all just little seeds—growing by the grace of God. None of us are in control, God is. He’s in charge of the Kingdom. The Kingdom continues to mature in spite of our mistakes. God has invested in us—planted His seed in us. Our vocation is not to be afraid to speak about our Faith. Remember that actions speak louder than words. The acts of kindness that we show go a long way.
We all know people who are struggling, who have doubts, who are angry with the Church. God can use us to plant the seeds of faith.