God’s Kingdom grows through its members’ docility and not with organization charts.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this to faithful during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, drawing from today’s readings, which discussed the Kingdom of God.
Noting how the Kingdom is not to be confused for a fixed structure, since it constantly evolves and grows, he underscored that accordingly God’s Law is not to only be studied, but is to be journeyed forward with in our lives.
“What is the Kingdom of God?” Francis asked. “Well, perhaps the Kingdom of God is a very well-made structure, everything tidy, organization charts all done, everything and the person who does not enter (into this structure) is not in the Kingdom of God.
“No,” he warned, “the same thing can happen to the Kingdom of God as happens to the Law: unchanging, rigidity… the Law is about moving forward, the Kingdom of God is moving forward, it is not standing still. What’s more: the Kingdom of God is re-creating itself every day.”
The Journey of Yeast and a Seed
In Jesus’ parable about things in our everyday lives, the Pope reminded, he discusses the yeast that does not remain yeast, because once it is mixed in with the flour, it is ‘on a journey’ to becoming bread. Also, the Jesuit Pope recalled, Jesus, points out how a seed does not remain a seed, because it dies and gives life to a tree.
The yeast and the seed are both on a journey to do something, Francis explained, while observing that to do this, however, they die.
“It is not a problem of smallness, be it small, of little count or a big thing. It’s a question of journeying and whilst on this journey the transformation occurs,” he said.
Don’t Be Too Rigid!
For the second day, Francis again warned against being a person who sees the Law, but does not journey forward and has a rigid attitude.
“What is the attitude that the Lord asks from us in order that the Kingdom of God can grow and be bread for everybody and is a house too for everybody?” he asked.
“Docility: the Kingdom of God grows through docility to the strength of the Holy Spirit. The flour ceases to be flour and becomes bread because it is docile to the strength of the yeast and the yeast allows itself to be mixed in with the flour… I don’t know, flour has no feelings but allowing itself to be mixed in one could think that there is some suffering here, right? But the Kingdom too, the Kingdom grows in this way and then in the end it is bread for everybody.”
Just as the flour is docile to the yeast, continued Pope Francis, the seed too allows itself to be fertilized and loses its identity as a seed and becomes something much larger: it transforms itself.
Similarly, he noted, the Kingdom of God recreates iteself each day, journeying “towards hope” and “journeying towards fullness.”
The Pontiff warned that if Christians do not journey forward, they become rigid, and this rigidity, “makes them orphans without the Father.”
“A rigid person only has masters and no father. The Kingdom of God is like a mother that grows and is fertile, gives of herself so that her children have food and lodging, according to the example of the Lord.”
The Pope concluded, encouraging all faithful to ask the Holy Spirit today for the grace of docility.
“Many times we are not docile to our moods, our judgements. ‘But I do what I want….’ The Kingdom does not grow in this way and neither do we grow. It is docility to the Holy Spirit that makes us grow and be transformed like the yeast and the seed. May the Lord give us all the grace of this docility.”