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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Rom 8:18-25): Brothers and sisters: I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.

We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, we also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.
Responsorial Psalm: 125
R/. The Lord has done marvels for us.
When the Lord brought back the captives of Zion, we were like men dreaming. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with rejoicing.

Then they said among the nations, «The Lord has done great things for them». The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad indeed.

Restore our fortunes, o Lord, like the torrents in the southern desert. Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.

Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves.
Versicle before the Gospel (Cf. Mt 11:25): Alleluia. Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Lk 13:18-21): Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? To what can I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that a man 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?»

+ Fr. Francisco Lucas MATEO Seco (Pamplona, Navarra, Spain)

Today, the liturgical texts, through these two parables, place before our eyes one of the characteristics of the Kingdom of God: it is something that flourishes slowly —as a mustard seed— but, eventually, grows to offer shelter to the birds in its trees. Church Father Tertullian said it like this: “We come from yesterday and we fill everything.” With this parable, Our Lord encourages us to patience, fortitude and hope. These virtues are especially necessary for those who devote themselves to propagate the Kingdom of God. We must be patient, and with God's grace and human cooperation, wait for the planted seed to grow while profoundly embedding its roots in the good soil to gradually become a tree. In the first place, we need to have faith in the virtuality —fecundity— contained in the seed of the Kingdom of God. This seed is the Word; it is also the Eucharist that is planted in us through Communion. Our Lord Jesus Christ compared himself to “a grain of wheat that falls to the ground and dies (…), but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (Jn 12:24).

The Kingdom of God, our Lord goes on, is similar to “yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened” (Lk 13:21). Here also the yeast capacity to leaven all the dough is mentioned. This is what happens with “the rest of Israel” which the Old Testament mentions: the rest will have to save and leaven all the people. Continuing on with the parable, we only need the yeast inside the dough, getting to the people, to be like salt that preserves from corruption and makes all food have good taste (cf. Mt 5:13). Time is also of the essence so that it can carry out its function by and by.

Parables encouraging patience and the hopeful certainty; parables referring to the Kingdom of God and to the Church, and that are also applied to the growth of this same Kingdom in each of us.