Saturday, June 16, 2018
11th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
June 17, 2018 - 11th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Cycle B. Green.
Ez 17: 22- 24 I 2 Cor 5: 6-10 / Mk 4: 26- 34
FROM THE 1ST READING: Ez 17: 22- 24a
Thus says Yahw/h: "At the top of the cedar I will take one of its uppermost branches, a tender twig and plant it. On a lofty, massive mountain, on a high mountain of Israel I will plant it. It will produce branches and bear fruit and become a magnificent cedar. Birds of all kinds will nest in it and find shelter in its branches. And all the trees of the field will know that I am Yahweh, I who bring down the lofty tree and make the lowly tree tall.."
FROM THE GOSPEL READING: Mk 4: 26- 32
Jesus said, "In the kingdom of God it is like this. A man scatters seed upon the soil. Whether he is asleep or awake, be it day or night, the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how. The soil produces of itself; first the blade, then the ear; then the full grain in the ear. And when it is ripe for harvesting he wields the sickle for the cutting: the time for harvest has come."
Jesus also said, "What is the kingdom of God like? To what shall we compare it? It is like a mustard seed which, when sown, is the smallest of all seeds scattered upon the soil. But once sown, it grows up and becomes the largest of the plants in the garden and even grows branches so big that the birds of the air can take shelter in its shade."
As we reflect on the Gospel reading we ask the two questions Jesus asked: "What is the Kingdom of God? What is it like?" As understood in the time of Jesus, the kingdom of God refers to the "restoration of Israel to a Davidic kingdom and the intervention of God in history through the Son of Man." Reflecting further we realize that the kingdom of God is much more than that: it is the restoration of man's relationship with God which had been marred and broken by man's sinfulness. Indeed in our time Christianity is the kingdom of God.
Jesus tells us that the restoration of the kingdom of God happens quietly, almost unexpectedly, stealthily almost yet steadily. It is like a tiny mustard seed which quietly grows into the largest of garden plants.
Looking back, the growth of Christianity has been quiet and slow, yet phenomenal: it has become a major faith and influence in the world.
The parables challenge us in our lives: How has the kingdom of God, Christianity, grown in our own lives? There are so many so-called Christians whose Christianity means being baptized, married and hopefully buried in the Church. There are also "Sunday Christians," whose Christianity is attending Sunday Mass with no other effect in their daily lives.
It is never too late. Each one is truly called to be an active member of the kingdom of God.
As a newly ordained priest, I was assigned to the Chaplaincy team at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. There I witnessed so many inmates whose lives changed radically and became more conformed to Christ.
It was not easy teaching natural science to inmates studying for their high school diplomas. Science was difficult for them. One time I simply asked them to copy my lesson as written on the board. Two older people walked into the room, removed their footwear, knelt in front of the class, bent down and copied my lesson on the board.
After class I asked them why they did what they did: "Father, ibig naming malaman ng aming mga anak na kahit mahirap mag-aral, makakaya nila ito kung magtiyaga si!a. Nahihirapan ang aming mga anak sa science: sasabayan namin si!a." ("Father, we want our children to know that, even if it is difficult to study, they can do it with patience. Our children find Science difficult: we will accompany them").
In such small ways I felt the glory of the reign of God in those inmates. May those we encounter feel the same way when they see our lives.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
Dante & Mariza Cenido
Mr. & Mrs. E Castillo Jr. and Family
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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