In our time with Jesus today, we ask for a story. We have learned to love these stories, these parables, because they are simple tales that open us to deeper meaning, underlying symbolism, and at times, uniquely personal significance for us. Jesus gladly obliges…

What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches… To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened. (Luke 13:18-21, NRSV)

Let your creativity flow for a moment. Do you find beauty and depth in Jesus’s simple words, that God’s kingdom could be compared to a tiny seed or a bit of yeast? What earthly item or substance would you use to describe this kingdom of God? Do you marvel that the love of God, so far beyond our comprehension, can be revealed through a simple mustard seed or a small amount of yeast?


Jesus is a wise teacher, who chooses to reveal God’s kingdom to us in ways we can comprehend. But he also describes the kingdom of God with these simple, common examples found in nature and our world, because this is where the kingdom is! The kingdom of God is here and now. God’s presence is within all of creation. When we understand this, we begin to realize how generously and humbly God has come to us all.

In her book, The Humility of God, Ilia Delio writes,

Too often we are wrapped up in lofty, intellectual speculations about God… In the meantime, God is present to us not only in the mundane but in the poverty and humility of ordinary life… To see the extraordinary ordinariness of God is to see with a different set of eyes, the eyes of the heart and to know God by a different logic, the logic of love. 1

If we start looking for God in the small things and the little moments, we will begin to see more of God. I think of the way the miracle of life becomes more incredible when we observe a tiny cell under a microscope. A seaside beach becomes more amazing when we look at a tiny grain of sand. Snowflakes are astonishing when we see the crystal formations in their tiny structures. In the same way, when we look more closely and intimately for God, we will discover more of God’s immense magnificence.

Yes, God is infinite mystery beyond our human knowing, but we need not be intimidated. God starts small – in our quiet prayer, in our heartfelt longing, in our simple understanding. God is in every moment of our daily living, and God is even within our frail flesh! And each small recognition, each little awareness of God’s loving presence, will become the seed that grows, the yeast that infuses and expands, into every moment of this, our incredible and eternal existence.

1Delio, Ilia, O.S.F. (2005). The Humility of God ~ A Franciscan Perspective. Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger Press.
Photo by Joshua Lanzarini on Unsplash
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