Monday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Jeremiah 13:1-11; Matthew 13:31-35)
It might be better to speak of the “the reign of God” rather than “the kingdom of heaven”.” “Heaven” is a circumlocution, a way to avoid saying the holy name of God. “Kingdom” is a static concept denoting a geographical entity more than the dynamic power that Jesus has in mind.
In any case Jesus wants his hearers to know that God’s authority does not require pomp and ceremony. It is found in the humblest of things and grows into things extraordinarily beneficial. A mustard seed turns into a plant providing nesting space for many birds. A little yeast added to the right proportion of flour makes enough bread to feed a neighborhood.
These parables assure us that we do not need the devotion of a monk to receive God’s help. He answers the sincere prayers of sinners as well as of saints. This does not mean that we can pray to God like a gambler hedging his bet so that he doesn’t lose. No, if we are going to turn to God for help, we should return to God’s ways. If we want to look to Him as our Father, we should act like His faithful children.