Luke 13:18 – 21
Today’s readings tell of the Kingdom of God present in the ordinary things of life and open the possibility of reflecting on our spiritual journey.
A mustard seed which a gardener throws into the garden slowly grows into a tree big enough to shelter birds in its branches. Yeast that is taken by a chef and mixed with three measures of flour until it is leavened right through provides bread for the hungry.
Jesus says,’ the kingdom of God is an unseen power’ that enables the mystery of life in all its forms to be present around us. In our words, in our deeds God’s presence is there even if we do not understand it or struggle to find words to express it in a meaningful way. Sometimes ‘to understand’ is to take the wonder, beauty and the delight out of the mystery of life itself. The unknown is the challenge calling us into new life.
The mustard seed, the trees, the birds, the leaven, the flour, the bread all created things have the potential to bring us into the beauty of God. Let us praise God.
The first reading can be a mine field, a dangerous place to walk. It should be read with great care and used wisely. Paul’s words to the Ephesians expressing the relationship between Christ and the Christian community seem out of step with current social attitudes towards human relationships, especially marriage. Outrage, anger, confusion are some of the responses to Paul’s words. These words may not have been chosen wisely by today’s standards.
Write your letter to Paul let him know how you would describe your relationship with Christ and the Christian community? What images, words, experiences come into your mind? Let your words be real to your life experience with moments of peace, joy and challenge. Paul’s letter may give you some insight into the development of your own spiritual journey.
Fr Peter Addicoat CP is parish priest and community leader of our St Joseph’s parish/community in Hobart Tasmania.