This week’s Gospel passage from Matthew is filled with lessons both cautionary and consoling for the Christian steward as Jesus uses several parables to describe the kingdom of heaven and our role in it.
First, He compares it to a field where both wheat and weeds have been sown. Both weeds and wheat are permitted to grow and only at harvest time are they separated, or “judged” — the wheat gathered into the sower’s barn and the weeds finally destroyed. So it will be for each of us at the end of our time on earth. It is a sobering reminder of the justice of God.
Next, He says the kingdom of heaven is like the small portion of yeast that is mixed in with flour for the making of bread. The yeast makes up an insignificant fraction of the ingredients, yet it is vital to the outcome — without that tiny bit of yeast, the bread simply will not rise. Similarly, He compares the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed, “the smallest of all the seeds.” But when it is full-grown it becomes the largest of all the plants, a sturdy and hardy bush where “birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.”
So often, the prayers we pray, the service we offer, the gifts we give — in comparison to the immense needs around us — can seem laughably small. But, as Jesus makes clear through the images of yeast and mustard seed, that is not the truth! God sees and “grows” our offerings of time, talent and treasure in ways we cannot begin to imagine.
In justice, in gratitude, in love, let us remain faithful to the mission entrusted to our care for the building of the kingdom of heaven.
By Catholic Stewardship Consultants