The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
|The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Thus says the Lord GOD: I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot, and plant it on a high and lofty mountain; on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it. It shall put forth branches and bear fruit, and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it, every winged thing in the shade of its boughs. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom. As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.
In our Gospel reading (Mark 4:26-34), Jesus relates two parables about seeds that teach us that God is the source of all growth and that even the smallest of beginnings, nourished by God, can change the world for good. It is God who commands the seed to rise, though the farmer is unaware.
Jesus said to the crowds: "This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come."
Brothers and sisters: We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
God often works through the small, the weak and the forgotten. Often, it is the smallest of deeds that, with the prompting of God, will grow into the mightiest of trees. Think of St. Therese of Calcutta at her beginnings, one small woman among the poorest of the poor, simply ministering to one person at a time. And so many others, who only by the grace of God, changed the world. It is not for us to know the good that we do.
- Click HERE to read and reflect on the full scripture readings for Sunday, June 17