To help the Kingdom of God grow, courage is needed to sow the mustard seed and mix the yeast, in the face of many who prefer a “pastoral care of conservation” without dirtying their hands. Pope Francis made the point in his homily at Mass, Tuesday morning, in the chapel of the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta. The Pope took his cue from Luke’s Gospel where Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed and yeast, which though small, “have a power within” to grow.
Suffering to glory
In his Letter to the Romans, the Pope said, St. Paul speaks about the many anxieties of life that are nothing compared to the glory that awaits us. Commenting on the struggle between suffering and glory, the Pope said, in our sufferings there is in fact “an ardent expectation” for a “great revelation of the Kingdom of God”. It is an expectation that belongs not only to us but also to creation, that is frail like us whoa are yearning for the “revelation of the children of God”. This inner strength that leads us to hope for the fullness of the Kingdom of God, the Pope pointed out, is the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit brings hope, growth
The Pope said it is this hope that leads us to fullness, the hope of coming out of this prison, this limitation, this slavery, this corruption, and reaching glory, is a journey of hope. And hope, the Pope said, is the gift of the Holy Spirit who is in us and leads us to liberation, to great glory. This is why Jesus says that inside this tiny mustard seed there is the force that “unleashes an unimaginable growth’ “. It is the same within us and in creation, the Pope pointed out. It is the the Holy Spirit that bursts forth and gives us hope.
Getting hands dirty rather than being museum custodians
The Pope noted that in the Church one can see both the courage and the fear to sow the seed and mix the yeast. There are those who feel secure with a “pastoral care of conservation,” that denies the Kingdom of God to grow. The Pope admitted there is always some loss in sowing the Kingdom of God. One loses the seed and gets hands dirty. He warned those who preach the Kingdom of God with the illusion of not getting dirty. Comparing them to museum custodians, he said they prefer beautiful things without sowing that allows the inner force to burst forth, and without mixing the yeast that triggers growth.
The Pope said that both Jesus and Paul point to this passing from the slavery of sin to the fullness of glory. It speaks of hope that does not disappoint, because like a mustard seed and yeast, hope is small and humble like a servant but where there is hope, there is the Holy Ghost, who carries forward the Kingdom of God, the Pope added.