Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we hear yet again how Christ taught the people and His disciples using parables, or stories with meaning hidden in the story. Jesus did this with a purpose, namely to make it easy for them to understand the concepts about God, His kingdom and His plans by using the stories related to their daily life experiences.
In the first reading, taken from the Book of the prophet Jeremiah from the Old Testament, God also showed Jeremiah His intentions using a similar method, using the linen belt and use it, as well as burying it until it is destroyed, in order to bring about His intentions for His people. This, together with the parables which Christ told His people today, all have the same central idea and lesson, that is, we have good in us, and all of us have the power to make a difference in both our own lives and in the lives of others. But if we remain dormant, then we are useless and will be cast away.
What does this mean, brothers and sisters? Surely some will think that God is kind of harsh, is He not? But if we truly understand His intentions, we will know that He meant good for us. He wants us to be awakened from our deep slumber and from our inaction, as well as from any wickedness that we have committed in this life which separated us from our loving God.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of us have to realise that if a mustard seed is not planted on the ground, or if no concrete effort and hard work are done on it when we plant it, then the mustard seed will forever remain as a seed, and it will die instead of sprouting and growing to be such a large tree as Jesus had mentioned. The same is also for yeast and bread, for if the yeast is kept separate from the bread, or if the yeast and bread mixture is not given the optimum condition, then the bread that is hard and not delicious will just remain as that.
We all know that when we make bread, in order to make the bread fluffy and having a nice texture, as well as being delicious, we need to add yeast into it, and not just that, but we have to seal the bread to allow the yeast to work. If we do everything correctly, and give the correct conditions for the bread, then it will rise and a delicious bread will come out as a result. Similarly, if we give the correct and best conditions for the mustard seed, it will grow big and healthy as a large and bountiful mustard tree.
What we can learn from these parables that Christ told us is that, if we put in our best effort in order to make the seeds of faith, hope and love that are in us to be able to grow, then they will grow optimally and they will produce wonderful and plentiful fruits of faith, of hope and of love. Then our Lord who sees that we bear much fruits and products, will love us and be gracious to us, and He will care for us for ever and ever.
If we have not done so, and if we have not bore any fruits or products, or having no good or concrete outcome from our lives, then we need to realise that we still have a chance. God is a loving and merciful God, and He likes to give us another chance every time whenever we sin and whenever we go against His will and follow Satan instead. But this is not without limit, and in the end, if we persist in our rebelliousness, we will be cast away to suffer for eternity with Satan and his angels in the endless sea of fire.
What God told Jeremiah using the example of the linen belt is no different, for a belt has its purpose, to keep our shirt and garments tied carefully to our bodies, but if it is kept in places unfavourable, then it will be destroyed and be of no use to anyone, and therefore it will be kept away and cast into the fire. It is important therefore to realise that we have been given much abilities and gifts in our respective lives from God, but we have often not realised this or even use them for the sake of evil, or for hurting and for the disadvantage of others.
We have much potential, brothers and sisters in Christ, both for good and for evil. Ultimately, it is up to us, whether we choose good over evil, or vice versa. Let us all not be those who choose evil over good, choosing to fulfill our own selfish desires and keep all the goods and seeds that God had planted in us and allow them to wither and perish. Instead, let us go forth and give the best possible condition for those seeds to grow, that all who look at us will know, that we come from God and that we belong to Him because we walk in His path.
Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all work together, that we may grow stronger in our faith, and turn our dormant lives into one that is filled with the graces and love of God, and in our actions, may we all be courageous to bring love and happiness to one another, that we may truly be called children of our loving God, and be saved at the end of all things. Amen.