One Minute Reflection – 26 October – Readings: Romans 8: 18-25;p Psalm 126: 1-5, Luke 13:18-21 and the Memorial of St Alfred the Great (849-899)
“When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.’” – Luke 13:19
REFLECTION – “It is up to us to sow this mustard seed in our minds and let it grow within us into a great tree of understanding reaching up to Heaven and elevating all our faculties; then it will spread out branches of knowledge, the pungent savour of its fruit will make our mouths burn, its fiery kernel will kindle a blaze within us, enflaming our hearts and the taste of it, will dispel our unenlightened repugnance.
Yes, it is true: a mustard seed is indeed an image of the Kingdom of God.
Christ is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Sown like a mustard seed in the garden of the Virgin’s womb, He grew up into the Tree of the Cross, whose branches stretch across the world. Crushed in the mortar of the Passion, its fruit has produced seasoning enough for the flavouring and preservation of every living creature, with which it comes in contact.
As long as a mustard seed remains intact, its properties lie dormant but when it is crushed, they are exceedingly evident.
So it was with Christ, He chose to have His Body crushed because He would not have His Power concealed.
Christ became all things in order to restore all of us in Himself. The Man Christ received the mustard seed, which represents the Kingdom of God; as Man He received it, though as God He had always possessed it. He sowed it in His Garden, that is in His Bride, the Church. The Church is a garden extending over the whole world, tilled by the plough of the Gospel, fenced in by stakes of doctrine and discipline, cleared of every harmful weed by the labour of the apostles, fragrant and lovely with perennial flowers, virgins’ lilies and martyrs’ roses set amid the pleasant verdure of all. who bear witness to Christ and the tender plants of all, who have faith in Him.
Such then is the mustard seed which Christ sowed in His Garden. When He promised a Kingdom to the Patriarchs, the seed took root in them; with the Prophets it sprang up; with the Apostles it grew tall; in the Church it became a great tree putting forth innumerable branches laden with gifts. And now you too must take the wings of the Psalmist’s Dove, gleaming gold in the rays of divine sunlight and fly to rest forever among those sturdy, fruitful branches. No snares are set to trap you there; fly off, then, with confidence and dwell securely in its shelter.” – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Doctor of Homilies (Sermon 98.)
PRAYER – True light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace. Help us Lord, that we may sprout and bear fruit, fitting to grow and be a home of comfort to our neighbour. By the prayers of St Alfred the Great, may we too be beacons of Your Light and of the glory of Your Kingdom. Through Jesus our Lord, Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.