Memory of the Poor

Share On

Muslims celebrate the end of the month of fasting of Ramadan (Aid-al-Fitr)

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Matthew 13, 31-35

He put another parable before them, 'The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field.

It is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the biggest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air can come and shelter in its branches.'

He told them another parable, 'The kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour till it was leavened all through.'

In all this Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables; indeed, he would never speak to them except in parables.

This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: I will speak to you in parables, unfold what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Jesus continues talking about the kingdom of God. He wants to help us understand this greatest mystery that contains all our hope and is the reason for his coming amidst humanity. His first words, indeed, ask us to repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand. It starts with Jesus; it is already among us and will be fulfilled at the end of the age. Jesus compares it to a mustard seed and to yeast. This parable is probably a response to the first listeners of Jesus, who asked: How is it possible that the kingdom of heaven appears in such a minor way? The mustard seed is considered the smallest of all the seeds. Yet, when full-grown it can be 2-3 meters tall, and the birds of the sky can dwell in its branches. Jesus says that the work of the Gospel is the same: at first it appears to be modest, insignificant, weak, like the smallest of all seeds. This is true, indeed. What is weaker than the Gospel? It is only a word, and it can be denied, forgotten, put aside. It does not impose itself and it does not oppress our will, even if we would prefer not to have to trust it. If it is accepted and grows, it becomes visible and widens its influence beyond us. We often despise a humble start, we easily get tired, we want to see obvious fruit that overcomes adversities and even our own poverty. From the very smallest, most insignificant seed the greatest reality arises! The same lesson is proposed in the following parable. A woman wants to cook some bread. She mixes a little yeast with three measures of wheat flour, kneads it, covers it and lets it grow all night long. In the morning the whole batch is leavened by the small quantity of yeast. The Evangelist shows here, as well, the disproportion between the humility at the beginning and the magnitude at the end. The same is true of the Gospel. These words tell us that the small number and a modest quantity do not matter; what matters for God is to be yeast. The yeast must grow in the wheat to leaven it. This is also true of seed: only when it falls to the ground and dies can it produce fruit. This is the secret of love: only when it is given and lost for others, can it reveals its power. Those who wish to save their life will lose it. Similarly, the community of believers is small and weak, but if it is guided by the Holy Spirit it becomes like a tree hosting a lot of many people, and like the yeast leavening people’s lives.