Reflection for the Eighth Sunday after Trinity.

“The kingdom of heaven is like…….” Jesus, in St Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52.

“Your greatest contribution to the kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.” Andy Stanley, American pastor.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus deals with five short parables in which he likens the kingdom of heaven to what is happening all around in his rural setting. He speaks of the kingdom resembling mustard seed, which is tiny but can grow to a great height, or yeast put into flour to make it rise. Jesus also likens the kingdom of heaven to a full net of fish of every kind with the good fish being separated from the bad which is then thrown out. These are small, everyday events from which greater things will develop but Jesus also mentions precious objects such as treasure being found in a field or a fine pearl of great value. These are things worth possessing and so the field is bought for access to the treasure and everything is sold so that its new owner can buy the expensive pearl. 

In these parables, short stories with a heavenly  meaning, patience is required: the mustard seed will grow, but it takes time; the yeast will raise the flour and the fish will be sorted when the net is full – but it takes time. So it is with the treasure in the field, which needs to be covered and the land purchased or with the fine pearl – possessions have to be sold before it can be bought and that also can’t be done immediately.

These things can also happen without being noticed – it can often be assumed that seeds will grow, bread will rise and fish will be sorted out before use. But it takes effort, money and resources to buy a field or a fine pearl and that needs planning in a way that can sometimes be overlooked. Like the oak tree within the acorn, small things can have great consequences in the right setting just as big things can also have tiny origins. All this is part of the kingdom too, says Jesus. The treasure was there – but hidden, like so much around us – and so is the kingdom of heaven, developing whether or not we are aware of it. 

Those hidden things are often revealed later – after at least ten and possibly fifteen years on her own in this remote valley, the encounter between Melangell and Brochwel led to a small wooden church being built in the seventh century and a place of pilgrimage being established on the foundations of sanctuary, healing and hospitality. Thanks to those seeds being sown then, today people come here from all over the world and the website is used by people in many countries as candles are placed on the altar and prayers said on their behalf. From tiny beginnings, great things have grown – and are doing, still. 

Jesus used examples current to his way of life then. Today, what is the kingdom of heaven like? 

With my prayers; pob bendith,

Christine, Guardian.