The Mustard Seed Homily for Seminarians

3 minute homily for Homiletics class on the parable of the mustard seed.

My brothers in Christ,

why are we in the seminary?

In today’s Gospel, the parable of the mustard seed provides us with an answer.

I would like to highlight 3 points from this parable:

First, we hear in the parable that “someone took the mustard seed.”

–> There is an intentionality about it. This mustard seed was chosen for a specific purpose.

And when we look at the science behind the mustard seed, it becomes far more interesting. Agricultural science has proved that a mustard seed’s DNA cannot change. Why is this important? Well today man has discovered how to make hybrid vegetables. The way this works is by changing the DNA. For example, to get corn to be perfect corn that bugs won’t eat .. you have to cross the corn DNA with cucumber DNA . The ONLY way they can get the corn to accept the cucumber DNA is to introduce it through a virus. Make the corn “sick” and then it will accept the cucumber DNA and end up as hybrid corn. But the mustard seed refuses all viruses.

–> This is the same with our vocation. God’s will for us refuses all viruses, all sins. There is nothing that we can do to change it. He has chosen you. He has intentionally brought you here.

Next, we hear in the parable that “someone sowed the mustard seed in the garden.”

–> The mustard seed teaches us another great lesson here. Do you know what environment the mustard seed thrives in? polluted areas… it thrives when there are a lack of nutrients.

–> This is the same with our vocation. God knows what you can bring to the seminary. He does not expect you to be perfect. He knows your wounds, your history, your struggles. He just wants you to be open to His grace.

And finally, we hear that the “mustard seed grew into a great tree that the birds of the air made nests in its branches”.

–> The mustard seed’s greatest power lies exactly in its weakness. Only when it breaks open in the darkness of the earth can it become a great tree.

–> This is the same with our vocation. We need to abandon ourselves into the hands of the sower, Jesus Christ, trust Him when He has planted us in the darkness of the soil and we can no longer see him. For this is what seminary truly means, a garden for seeds. 

My brothers in Christ, today in this holy sacrifice of the Mass, we are led by Jesus Christ’s own example, who followed the Father’s will to the Cross, was broken and buried in the darkness, and whose Cross now stands as the tree of life and whose broken body now has become the bread of life.

Let us not be content with remaining mustard seeds, the Church needs you to be planted deep in the soil, break open in the darkness, so that we may become trees of life to provide shelter and rest for those who are burdened and in need.

This is why we are in the seminary.

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