“Jesus said, ‘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 on 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.’” --From the Gospel of Mark, 11thSunday in Ordinary Time.

Was Jesus joking? Or teasing his crowd? People who know about plants tell us that the mustard plant is rambling, not a place for birds’ nests, and really a bush that offers very little shade. It is considered by many farmers and gardeners to be a weed.

So, the Kingdom of God is like a …weed? Really? Well, yes, that might just be a good comparison after all.

Weeds grow everywhere; they are hard to eliminate; they keep coming back; they spread as far as they can. For some people as well as many animals, they are food.

The Kingdom grows everywhere; it is hard to eliminate; it keeps coming back; it is spread as far as it can be by the faith and good works of believers. And for those with eyes of faith, it is not a weed but food.

“The Kingdom of God is like a dandelion seed. It is the lightest of seeds, but once caught by the slightest breeze, it spreads far and, once planted, it is nearly impossible to uproot. Once it grows, it offers food to the hungry and flowers for those who see them.”

Sister Elaine M. Berkopec