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11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 13, 2021

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

The first parable we hear today in St. Mark’s Gospel is a parable that may reflect Jesus’ own understanding that while his message and ministry seem to be headed to the tomb.  He knew that God, the Father, was at work in ways he did not understand.  He was planting the seeds in the ground.  The growth of the reign of God was imperceptible.  In this truth, Silvano Fausti, an Italian Jesuit Scripture scholar, says that the belief in this fact, is an expression of genuine monotheism.  It implies that when we stop thinking of ourselves as gods, we will trust that only God can bring about the kingdom.  You and I may plant the seeds, but we must resist the temptation to think we know how to make them grow. 

Jesus follows this parable with one about a mustard seed.  Just when the disciples feel that nothing is happening, that they have fallen for the impossible dream, Jesus promises that that God’s reign is not only mysterious and beyond human control, but as prodigious as a weed.  The Hebrew Scriptures never talk about the mustard seed, which suggests that Jesus may have been reinterpreting something like the parable of today’s first reading.  The reading from Ezekiel 17 compared the chosen people to a shoot from the greatest of foreign trees and replanted by God in Israel.  Seeing the kingdom of God start as a mustard seed is a far humbler image.  Nevertheless, the small mustard seed’s growth is astounding or as farmers would tell you, uncontrollable. 

In the end, both of today’s parables point out that establishing the kingdom is God’s work beyond our control and our comprehension. Our three readings today, tell us that our major task is to trust God.  The closer we get to mastering that task, the more we will understand what to do about the rest. 

Please take time to read further in this bulletin for upcoming activities. 

Have a blessed week!  Fr. Len

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