Today’s readings give us two powerful images in the transformation of our lives. Both leaven and the mustard seed are small, yet powerful means for growth. A small amount of leaven added to dough brings about a bountiful bread and the mustard seed (the tiniest of seeds) added to soil brings forth one of the largest plants.
Compare that tiny amount of leaven to our own anointing in the Holy Spirit. This leaven (Spirit) is in our veins, giving us the victory over all the chaos and challenges of our life.
If you’ve ever made your own bread, you know this can be a lengthy process. The ingredients are simple and alone do not amount to anything, but once the leaven is mixed in transformation takes place. The dough requires kneading – making sure that all the leaven is mixed throughout the ingredients. Then it rests. The resting is an important part of the process. If this process is skipped and the dough is placed in the hot oven, you know that the result can be a heavy brick-like mess.
We, too can get bogged down with the weight of our chaos and want to rush the process. The result can be the “dead weight” we can become to others” [Conversation With God v4,p.244], but with our openness to the Holy Spirit, we allow God to transform us and rise above what the world give us. As God becomes the leaven mixed into our daily lives, we too are being called to be the leaven, through our earthly experiences, to others.
If leaven is not used for fermenting, it rots. There are two ways leaven can disappear, either by giving life to dough, or by being wasted, a perfect tribute to selfishness and barrenness.
J. Escriva, Friends of God, 258
God tells us to use the everyday circumstances of our lives as a vehicle to overcome hardships with the help of the Holy Spirit to be a witness of His victory in us. The song below, by Katy Perry, reminds us that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can thrive because the victory has already been won.
“The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.” Proverbs 21:31
“for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.” Deuteronomy 20:4