It is said that a little kindness goes a long way. It may be one of the reasons why Pope Francis has captured the world’s imagination. He seems like kind man. There are other things that in small amounts make a big difference. Hot sauce, for example. It does not take much of the smell of skunk to make a big difference. But certain things, little tiny amounts, make a big difference. Small things can have great impact.
Such is part of the message of today’s gospel reading. Small tiny mustard seeds can become shrubs that are like large trees. A small package of yeast can cause a whole loaf of bread to rise. When it comes to the kingdom of God only a small amount of openness is needed for great things to happen.
Sometimes in the spiritual life, we make the mistake of thinking that for authentic spiritual growth to occur we must do unbelievably difficult or challenging things. We must go on this long retreat, or seek out someone who was tremendously spiritually gifted, or spend hours every day in some aspect of prayer.
We can also think this way when it comes to certain things that appear to demonstrate the power of God. A vision or an apparition can gather all kinds of attention, when in reality God is always present to us. It is not necessary for us to go far and wide to discover the presence of God. Growth in the spiritual life is not limited to those circumstances of our lives that call us to be far away. No, spiritual growth is possible right here, right now, today.
What matters is whether or not our hearts are open to receiving the new life that God chooses to give us. Are we willing to allow God to make a difference in our hearts and in our lives? When it comes to God, great things can happen when we give God even a small part of our heart.
Says not to suggest that we should be selfish or stingy. It is to suggest however that gods ability to work with us and through us is so much greater than we can possibly imagine. The love of God is so powerful that it can melt even the hardest of hearts. The love of God is so powerful, that even when we doubt our ability to cooperate with God’s grace, even a little bit of openness to the will of God is enough for God to work great things through us.