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Saint Paul University Catholic Center

Mustard Seed

The Graduate Student and Young Professional Large Group

Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Mat 17:20

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’.

Mat 13:31-32

In the Gospels, Our Lord uses the analogy of a mustard seed to teach us about faith and the kingdom of heaven. When his disciples ask why they were unable to cast out a demon, Jesus reminds them that the greatest faith must be humble and and die to self. This is how the message of the Gospel spreads. It starts as a humble seed, a seed that, when cultivated, sprouts in abundance and provides a place to dwell. The mission of Mustard Seed at St. Paul’s is to cultivate a fertile soil in which the seed of faith can grow, so that, having received the good news of the Gospel, we may share it with others and bear fruit that will last.

The experience of Mustard Seed, then, aimed at cultivating and growing faith, should be both communal and formative. Faith is first cultivated with an experience of community– a personal relationship with friends and with Christ. The formation and growth of faith in the Christian tradition has been understood according to four pillars: human, intellectual, spiritual, and apostolic. At Mustard Seed, the communal element principally occurs before 7pm, with Happy Half Hour and Newman Dinner. The formation portion occurs after 7, with a 30-45 minute talk with Q+A. It is intended over the course of the semester to touch on each of the four pillars of formation; thus, a variety of speakers ought to be sought who can consistently and rigorously engage listeners on a human, intellectual, spiritual, and apostolic level. After the talk and Q+A, formation and community continues with informal discussion, snacks, drinks, and night prayer.

Hosted in the St. Paul’s library, Mustard Seed can be seen as the “library” of our ministerial home. A library should be warm and inviting— and equipped with a cafe or bar— and should be a place where those who enter can achieve, with the guidance of others, a deeper understanding of themselves and their faith. Here mustard seeds are sowed that, when full-grown, become the largest of plants.

Find out what’s happening this week at Mustard Seed!