Thought of the day
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tuesday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time

Commentary of the day Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church Commentary on Saint Luke's gospel, VII, 176-180 ; SC 52 The mustard seed

Commentary of the day 
Saint Ambrose (c.340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church 
Commentary on Saint Luke's gospel, VII, 176-180 ; SC 52
The mustard seed

      Now let us see why the Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a mustard seed. Another passage that refers to a mustard seed comes to mind where it is compared to faith, when the Lord says: "If you had faith like a mustard seed you would say to this mountain: Cast yourself into the sea" (cf. Mt 17,20; Mk 11,23)... So if the Kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed and faith is like a mustard seed, then it goes without saying that faith is the Kingdom of heaven and the Kingdom of heaven is faith. To possess faith is to possess the Kingdom... That is why Peter, whose faith was genuine, was given the keys of the Kingdom of heaven that he might likewise open it up to others (Mt 16,19). 

       Next, let us appreciate what the gist of this comparison is. Without any doubt this seed is something perfectly ordinary and uncomplicated. But only cook it and it exudes its strength. In the same way, faith seems something simple at first glance, but when crushed by adversity, its strength increases... Our martyrs Felix, Nabor and Victor were like mustard seeds: although they bore the odor of faith, yet they were passed over. But when persecution came, they laid down their weapons, extended their necks and, struck by the sword, shed abroad the beauty of their martyrdom «even to the ends of the earth» (Ps 19[18],5)... 

       But our Lord himself is a mustard seed: so long as he had undergone no attack, the people did not recognise him. He chose to be hustled...; he chose to be pressed in such a way that Peter said: "The crowds are pressing in upon you" (Lk 8,45); he chose to be sown like a seed «that a man takes and throws on his garden», for it was in a garden that Christ was both arrested and buried. He grew up in this garden and was even raised up again in it... You, too, sow Christ in your gardens, then... Sow the Lord Jesus: he was seed when he was arrested, tree when he rose again – a tree overshadowing the world. He was seed when buried in the earth, tree when he rose up to heaven.