Gospel Reflection June 17 – Deacon Frank

Sunday, June 17

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 4: 26 – 34

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.

In this weekend’s gospel from Saint Mark, Jesus talks to us about the mysterious kingdom of God. This kingdom is not so easy to see with the naked eye and its power of growth can leave people unimpressed. And yet it is the strongest power of all and it’s ability to grow is certain. Explaining this mysterious kingdom to us today, Jesus reminds us how seed sowed on the ground takes root, sprouts and grows in its own mysterious way. Its power to grow and produce the food that feeds us is amazing. Even while we sleep that seed is growing.

In a second example Jesus talks about the mustard seed, how small it is and yet how large a tree it becomes. We need not be worried if God’s ways seem to be unimpressive. The power that the word of God holds is beyond our reckoning. God’s word, God’s justice, truth and love are indestructible. It may not seem like this in our noisy, argumentative and violent world. The kingdom of God is among us and it may not be easy to see. Yet look again with eyes of faith and you will see it everywhere.

May the Lord, who invites us into his kingdom, be our strength in all we do and may God bless all the Dads, Grandpas, and expectant Dads in our parish this weekend as we celebrate Father’s Day and give praise to our Heavenly Father!

Deacon Frank Iannarino