This week, the liturgy reflects the parables of Our Lord in the case of the mustard seed and the leaven.
The Collect, Epistle and Gospel of this Sunday’s Mass are taken from the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, while the antiphons—Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory, and Communion—are repetitions of those for the Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.
“The man who sows,” says St. Jerome, “is understood by most to be our Redeemer because He sows in the hearts of believers. The preaching of the Gospel is the humblest of all arts, since it has for its message a Man-God, a Christ who died, and the scandal of the Cross.” The Mass for today thus brings out the divinity of our Blessed Lord. He is God because He utters things hidden in God and unknown to the world (Gospel). His word, compared by Him to a tiny seed cast into the field of the world, and to a little leaven in the lump, is divine because it calms our passions and brings forth in our hearts those marvels of faith, hope, and charity of which we read in the Epistle.
Of the Church, stirred to greater effort by our Lord’s words, we have an excellent figure in the three measures of meal, the whole of which was leavened by the expanding force of the yeast (Gospel), and in the mustard tree, the largest of its kind, where the birds of the air gladly come for shelter. We must constantly meditate on our Lord’s doctrine, that like leaven it may pervade and transform our hearts, and like the mustard tree may spread abroad its fruits of holiness in those of our neighbor. “Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that ever meditating upon the truths Thou has proposed for our intelligence, we may in every word and work of ours, do that which is pleasing to Thee” (Collect). May God’s kingdom, to which Christ its King has called us, be extended ever more and more.