First Reading: Ezekial 17:22-24
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
Gospel: Mark 4:26-34, 22-26
Perhaps after listening to today’s gospel we ask: Why does Jesus teach so many parables about the kingdom of God? Each parable reveals a different aspect of the kingdom of God, which in total provides us with a better understanding.
The first parable is about the seed growing beneath the soil, without the farmer knowing how. In a similar way, the kingdom of God is growing within us, without us knowing how. But the seed can only grow within us, if the soil of our soul is fertile. A fertile soul allows God to do the planting, fertilizing and cultivating…which means whatever obstacles that could prevent the seed from growing must be removed…such as the rocks of our selfishness that is the root of sin.
The second parable is about a very small mustard seed that grows into a huge plant. The tiny seed planted by God at Baptism in our soul will grow the kingdom of God beyond our expectation over the course of a life time, provided we allow God to work in our life – we don’t put up barriers or obstacles – we stay in tune with His Will each day, day after day, with perseverance and trust.
The great patriarch of the Old Testament, Abraham “went as the Lord directed him” (Gen12:4), which characterized Abraham’s holiness and his obedience to God’s direction. The kingdom of God will only grow if we are allowing God to direct us, i.e. allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify us. The Holy Spirit encourages us to get to Confession, to focus on the areas of our spiritual life that need changing – giving us the grace in this sacrament, and especially in the Eucharist. We have no or limited power to change on our own. We need the inspiration and grace of the Holy Spirit.
When I was growing up, as a family we often worked on jigsaw puzzles together – the mega puzzles. We had a picture of the puzzle on a box in front of us as a guide. Often when I couldn’t find a piece to continue the puzzle, someone else in the family would come along and find that piece to enable the puzzle to continue towards the final goal of completion. Then I would say: “How come I couldn’t find that piece?” So, it is with the kingdom of God, as we are not responsible for growing the kingdom solely on our own. God will enable all of us to contribute to His work. We rejoice when someone finds the missing piece, as in the puzzle that I described, which makes the kingdom of God grow faster and//or greater – as this is God’s work – through us, each in our own way, we give glory to God for whether we put one key piece in that puzzle or many or just a few! It’s all about God’s kingdom and His glory!
May God bless us! Deacon Mike