Jesus explained the kingdom of heaven by way of parables, as a mustard seed (Mt 13:31-32), leaven or yeast (Mt 13:33), a hidden treasure in the field that a man chances to find (Mt 13:44), or a man searching for the pearl of great price (Mt 13:45-46). This teaches us that the Kingdom is that small hidden gem in life that a person searches for or comes to discover by surprise. The experience denotes that God is behind the act; He acts “in His own time” according to a plan that only He is aware of, but that we can uncover through our own industry, and the sacred trust we hold for providence. The deeper one’s experiences, the stronger and wider will be our understanding and application of the parable, for we have a “storeroom from which to bring out things new as well as old.”
The parables of Jesus are ways of teaching the people from daily events and realities. A parable is timeless in its lessons that can be applied to our own time. Jesus did not explain his parables but challenged his hearers: “He who has ears to hear let him hear!” (Mt 11:15; 13:9,43). He left space for the people to discover the meaning; probably too, the first Christian communities discussed these, seeking to understand what Jesus meant.
This is also the purpose of groups that share the gospel in Lectio Divina — to discover the deeper meaning, to let the kingdom yeast grow and enable our families and Christian communities to see, love, touch, and give Christ in selfless love to one another.
The seed, the yeast, look small and insignificant, but, with the right conditions, and constant use, grow and glow with life, sharing this with as many people a possible. It is thus important to build good relationships and practice virtue — kingdom values, gifts of the Spirit — as grace that is freely given to build up the Church and the family/community we belong to. The Lord calls us to grow in holiness and become companions in Jesus’ mission for the growth of His Kingdom in the world. Let us pray that the Spirit, with Mary and our patron saints, keep forming us as yeast for the growth of God’s kingdom.