Mustard Seed and Better Times

Source: A Tribuna Regional newspaper, Santo Ângelo/RS (Brazil), Friday, January 4, 2013. | Updated in February 2017.
Tela: Guido Reni (1575-1642)


We are going through a time of transformation in the world that is both radical and turbulent in many ways and which demands of us a superior capacity for facing up to all types of obstacles. This is how I started yet another talk on the radio. I went on saying: I am not referring to a neurotic stampede, because there are people who rush around and get nowhere. I am talking here about a systematic and courageous preparation for better times, which were always desired but hitherto not properly achieved by Humanity. . . . What is perhaps still missing is perspicacity and perseverance with regard to certain basic teachings that Jesus, the Divine Prophet, abundantly and hopefully conveys to us. A good example is found in the Parable of the Mustard Seed, in which a man plants a small seed and, despite being tiny, it blossoms, grows, and becomes a leafy tree, so that birds draw close to it and make their nests in its branches:

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Jesus (Matthew 13:31 and 32)

31 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.

32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Jan Luyken (1649-1712)

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

The sower had, let us say, a prophetic vision, because he had knowledge of the extraordinary value contained in the little seed and its consequent future. This is one of the lessons that Jesus wants to convey to us in this parable. The opposite would be to leave the tiny grain lying on the path and there abandoning it without it germinating. So when we are unaware of the power of the Divine Word, we risk kicking the seed and despising the great fortune that God offers us, thus harming the future. Now, what do we learn today if not that those who possess information and access to communication own the world? . . .

We immediately see that the seed kicker is uninformed. Let us imagine what happens to those who do not know the Gospel and the Apocalypse, preferably in Spirit and Truth under the light of the New Commandment of Christ the King. How many opportunities they miss! Not considering this is being ill-advised.

All spiritual and human endeavors, from the modest to the most outstanding, were once small, like a new year that is just beginning. It may have begun as a family dialogue, a work meeting, an intuition . . . And if the new idea is cultivated according to evangelical and apocalyptic humanitarian principles, the benefits to society will be countless.

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”