The parable of the mustard seed is well-known. But perhaps we all need to challenge ourselves to take a step back and to think creatively to find ways to plants seeds of faith and grow the kingdom of God in small ways within our families, within our circle of friends, within our work places, and within our communities. Pope Francis has been an example for all of us to serve the least of our brothers and sisters; to dialogue with and embrace those with various faith traditions; to live lives that are more simple, that are free from distractions and excessiveness, and to not partake in gossip and conversations which serve to tear others down as opposed to build them up.

What actions can I take to plant seeds of faith, seeds of hope, seeds of compassion and mercy, and seeds of love in the Kingdom of God here on earth?

—Leigh M. Hartley works in higher education administration at the University of Chicago. Over the past 15 years she has volunteered with the Jesuits, initially with Charis Ministries more recently years through planning and organizing pilgrimages with Fr. Michael Sparough, S.J.