VATICAN CITY — God’s kingdom is not a well-organized structure where only strict adherents of the law can enter but a path that is walked upon every day with meekness and docility, Pope Francis said.

Christians are called to walk that path of the kingdom and not fall victim to “a behavior of rigidity” that prevents the Holy Spirit from growing, the pope said in his homily Oct. 25 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

“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,” he said.


The pope reflected on the day’s Gospel from St. Luke, in which Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed that grows into a large bush and like yeast that is mixed with flour “until the whole batch of dough is leavened.”

Jesus’ comparison of the kingdom to a mustard seed and the yeast, the pope said, is a reminder that in order for the Holy Spirit to grow, it must first “die” and transform into something great in one’s life.

However, it can only grow “through docility to the strength of the Holy Spirit,” he said.

“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” and becomes bread for everyone, the pope said.

Men and women who are docile to the action of the spirit, he continued, also become like the mustard that, “although it loses its identity as a seed, becomes something else, something bigger, it transforms.”

Christians who do not walk this path of transformation, he warned, will instead become rigid and orphaned.

“A rigid person only has masters and no father. The kingdom of God is like a mother that grows and is fertile; she gives of herself so that her children have food and lodging, according to the example of the Lord,” Pope Francis said.

“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,” he said.