Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time


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.”  He said, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?  It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.  But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”  With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.  Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.  Mark 4: 24 – 36

God speaks to us in many ways including our Sunday scriptures.  In today’s Gospel reading we are given two parables to think about and pray over.  First, we read the parable of the seed followed by the parable of the mustard seed.  I had the experience a few times of planting a garden.  Growing up in the Bronx I did not have a space that I could dedicate to a garden.  When if first decided to take on this endeavor I remember reading on how to prepare the space and what would be the best seeds to plant.  In planting I made the usual amateur mistakes.  Having not portioned out the plot of land I proceeded to plant the seeds and watered them faithfully and waited.  It seemed like an eternity before anything showed signs of growth.  All of a sudden, the growth happened, and we had zucchini, tomatoes, beans, eggplant and a host of herbs.  What I learned from this experience was the importance of patience and perseverance.  As I watched the garden each day, I found myself getting anxious that nothing would grow and was so relieved when the garden came alive.  In fact, at one point the garden was so prolific that I was giving the harvest to anyone who wanted some of the yield.  It was a true learning experience and I remember being so happy with the outcome.

As we live this day let us remember that “we walk by faith and not by sight.”  We are invited today to continue the journey and to grow in God’s abundant love for us.  May we always be willing to accept God’s invitation to a deeper relationship and grow in the love of our God.