Romans 8: 18-25
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Psalm 126: 1-6
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.
Luke 13: 18-21
He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it? It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”
And again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
The Third Luminous Mystery of the Rosary is the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Unlike the other mysteries, which focus on specific events in the lives of Jesus and Mary, this mystery includes all the ways that Jesus revealed how the Kingdom of God had come and described the nature of His Kingdom so we can best know how to follow Him and take part in building it. In the Gospel today, Jesus gives us two examples to show us the levels of faith and hope inherent in the Christian life.
Though Jesus does not say it directly, both planting the mustard seed and kneading the yeast into the dough were acts of faith. Neither the sower nor the woman had a guarantee that they would see the results of their work, yet in order to plant the tree and bake the bread, they needed to do their part and trust that nature would take care of the rest. Likewise, when we are working to build the Kingdom of God, whether in a particular ministry or simply trying to grow in personal holiness, we are called to step out in faith both in small and great matters, trusting that, even if we can’t control all the elements or know the result of our efforts, the Lord will take our obedience and cause it to bear fruit. And whether we see that fruit soon, like the woman with the dough, or if we do not see the fruit in our lifetime, like the sower who planted the mustard seed, the Lord reassures us that our part in His work is merely to be obedient and faithful, with patient hearts that anticipate His work.
Faith and hope are virtues that we are called to exercise. It can feel like something is wrong when we find our faith and hope challenged, yet the Scriptures remind us today that our entire Christian walk is one of stretching our faith and seeking the Lord in hope. To do otherwise would show complacency and contentment with this life. So if you are feeling like God is allowing you to struggle in the dark right now, if you are not really feeling His presence in your life or are even suffering as you wait for Him to answer a prayer, take heart and receive it as a call to grow in faith and hope. Remember that it’s not supposed to be easy, but a great reward awaits you on the other side for persisting and being faithful.