When I was a first-year seminarian, during our apostolate of presence, I had a chance to help my foster mother, Nanay Lita, with the household chores every weekend. One day, she shared her life story while preparing dinner. I offered to help with the preparations, but she refused and told me to sit down and just listen. She said, “Ok lang ako anak. Umupo ka nalang diyan, makinig ka sa kwento ko at masaya na ako.”
This I did and asked myself, “What have I done to make her happy?” Then I realized that Nanay Lita was a very busy woman – a mother of five, a community organizer, a church worker, and a housewife. She needed someone to talk to, someone who would listen to her stories and concerns and would comfort her. The simple act of listening or even just my presence already delighted her.
Sometimes, we think that the small things we do have no impact on others or cannot change a situation. The Gospel tells us that though a mustard seed is the smallest of its kind, when fully grown, it is one of the largest of plants thereby allowing birds to nest on its branches.
The Gospel reminds us that nothing is so small and irrelevant in the eyes of God. It challenges me to continue doing what is good and right no matter how little or simple it is, as long as it comes from the heart and would not impair others.
By: Sem. Roldan B. Baliano
Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.