Saturday, June 16, 2012

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)


The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed

In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus compared the kingdom of God first to a man who planted seedlings in his farm. The man would sleep and wake up and through it all the seed would sprout and grow. However, he knows not how the seed sprouts and grows. The farmer may know the developmental stages of the seed from the seed itself to it being a full grain, that is, to it being ready for harvesting. However, the farmer knows not how the seed of its own accord yields its fruit. Even if one were to argue that the seed is genetically programmed to sprout and grow on its own up until it bears fruit, the question still remains: how did it become genetically programmed to be so? Who programmed the seedling’s DNA to be what it is?

In any case, Jesus also compared the kingdom of God to a mustard seed. When the mustard seed is sown in the ground, though it is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, and the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.

Certainly, there must be some hidden messages that must be deciphered from the two parables. The first thing we notice about the two parables is that both refer to seed. What does the seed represents? It represents thoughts and the soil represents the subconscious mind. Whatever thought that is planted in the subconscious mind takes root in the person’s mind, which then sprouts, grows, and ripens for harvesting. When the right opportunity comes, the thought takes hold of the person, and the thought becomes reality. “Every thought seed sown or allowed to fall into the mind, and to take root there, produces its own blossoming sooner or later into act, and bearing its own fruitage of opportunity and circumstance. Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit.” (James Allen, As A Man Thinketh).

Given the foregoing, our inner thoughts often reflect themselves in our outer circumstances. Circumstances grow out of thoughts. Many people are fighting the outer circumstances of their problems, that is, the symptoms and not the inner causes of their problems. The cause of their problems may lie in their mental attitude, and not because their enemies are against them. When Jesus said a man’s enemies will be members of his own household (Matt. 10:36), he not only means literarily members of one’s family but also a person’s inner thoughts. Some people are their own worse enemies. For example, they sabotage their own efforts by their negative thoughts, negative words, and negative actions. Change the quality of your thoughts and mental attitudes, and watch the quality of your life improve. Plant good seeds in your mind, and they will externalize as good harvest for you. As you plant so shall you reap.

As any farmer knows, seeds planted in the soil do not grow overnight. They take time to sprout and grow until they are mature enough to harvest. The farmer plays his or her part by nurturing the seeds. Similarly, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step. If you wish to make it in life, begin from somewhere. Dream big dreams! Dream impossible dreams; that which is impossible now will become a possibility in the future. “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. […]. The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream.” (James Allen, As A Man Thinketh).

The mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, when planted grows to become the largest of plants. Your big mental dreams must begin in your mind. As you make progress towards the achievements of your dreams, so will the Divine Creator make a way for you when there seems to be no way, so will he remove all obstacles from your path when there seems to be obstacles everywhere, and so will he open doors for you when all doors seem close. They are many people who had dreams that seem impossible at a point in time but they held onto their dreams and kept their faith in God intact. Lo and behold, when the time for the fulfillment of their dream arrived; it was nothing short of a miracle that their dream became real at last.

Do not believe for one moment that you are inadequate. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
 
----from A Return to Love, by Marianne Williamson.

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