Little Things Mean a Lot
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B

Jesus used parables, or if you will, metaphors drawn from everyday life, because He knew that the average person would be able to remember them, discuss them with others and to gradually get the message contained within them …a message that, in its time, was radically new and needed a lot of getting used to.

Most of Jesus' parables focused on the Kingdom of God …a somewhat misleading term for it tends to conjure up concepts of territory and borders.

In fact, the Kingdom of God is more of a condition …a condition that arises from living one’s life according to God’s will.

The Kingdom of God is then to be found first in one’s intellect and will …in our souls and in our hearts …and, as a consequence, in our environment, whether natural or political.

It is destined to be universal but for now it is to be found here and there and in varying stages of perfection.

His kingdom will finally come in its fullness when His will is done on earth as it is in heaven. And so, to the extent that we live according to Gospel values, it can be said that the Kingdom of God is to be found or, if not, should be found within our presence.

But what does it mean to live one’s life according to Gospel values? Well Jesus spent most of His adult life answering that very question and, as previously noted, He frequently employed parables to do so.

At this point it is worth noting that the "Kingdom images" as selected by Jesus were often images of domestic farming, planting, and harvesting.

In spite of His personal background, we never hear Him use the example of the carpenter designing, shaping, and tooling his product toward completion.

This is because the example would not be apt; it would fail as an illustration. The farmer plants and to some extent nourishes the seed but what transpires beneath the soil is beyond his or her genius. The farmer watches and waits for the pregnant land to give birth. The farmer, especially in Jesus’ day was not as much a craftsman as a co-creator.

That resembles the role Jesus has entrusted to us relative to the coming of His Kingdom. In the final analysis He alone will make it happen but first He asks us to plant the seeds in society. Seeds of unselfish constancy and attentiveness especially with regard to the little things like taking time to listen with love and respond with respect ...primary signs of living according to Gospel values.

Like most seeds, the seeds of the Kingdom tend to be small. Again and again Jesus taught us that little things do mean a lot. It is through them that God works his miracles so that every corner of the Earth becomes a better place in which to live.

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