TUESDAY: Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Mustard Seeds and Grains of Wheat
The parables of the mustard seed and the grain of wheat together symbolize humility, gallantry, servanthood, death, transformation, resurrection, life-giving and sacrifice – both epitomize the persona of Christ and his mission in the world. On the other hand, they embody the notion of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist and the mission of Christians in the world.
The concepts of suffering servanthood and meekness are neatly interweaved in the minuteness of each respective seed transubstantiating their own existence, surrendering their whole being to become a life-giving agent to bring comfort and give life to others. The mustard seed and the grain of wheat are reminiscent of the whole life and mission of Christ in the world. He came into the world be a selfless servant (Matt.20:28) that we may have life more abundantly (Jn.10:10).
Seeds by themselves lack beauty and majesty. However, their real beauty, majesty and abundant potential are revealed when they died to themselves to become servants of the gods and of humanity. The Prophet said the same about Christ as the suffering servant of God (Is.52:13-53:12). The same applies to the grain of yeast, a metaphor for the kingdom. It adds buoyancy, resilience, optimism and enthusiasm to life. This is precisely the mission of Christ and the Church in the world. Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly. The Church exists to offer eternal life to all nations in the name of Christ (Matt.28:18-20).
St. Paul in Romans 8:18-25 writing on the destiny of our glory applies the same notion of suffering servants to describe our pilgrimage and stewardship on earth as members of the Mystical Body of Christ. He puts it all in the context of redemptive suffering and encourages us to be mustard seeds and grains of yeast. In other words, bear our suffering and offer up our lives as living sacrifices to God for the redemption of the world (Rom.12:1-2). There can be no suffering where there is no groaning and no mourning. However, if we endure it for the sake of the kingdom and the glory of God our resilience will pay off in the end. We will become like stately mustard trees in the kingdom and like Christ become Eucharist for others.
O God, I worship and glorify you for your namesake.