Theme: THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL COME IN ALL ITS FULLNESS AT THE END OF TIME
- Ezekiel 17:22-24;
- Psalm 91 (92): 2-3. 13-16. R/ cf. v. 2; 2
- Corinthians 5:6-10
- Mark 4:26-34
Today we celebrate the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Year B. The readings today tell us that the Kingdom of God will come in all its fullness at the end of time! (NJBC)
The gospel today tells us of two parables; the “parable of the seed growing by itself” and the “parable of the mustard seed”. (NJB)
The first “parable of the seed growing by itself” tells us that the kingdom of God is like a man who sowed the seed and the seed grew by itself. Whether the man was awake or asleep, the seed grew by itself! And when harvest time came the man reaped the crop!
The first parable tells us that the kingdom of God will come in all its fullness at the end of time, because it is God who makes his kingdom grow! We are therefore not to be discouraged or impatient, even in the face of difficulties, sufferings, problems, failures or persecutions! (NJBC)seed
We are to do what Jesus Christ did, that is, to sow the seed of the kingdom, that is, to preach the word of God, to proclaim the good news (Gospel Acclamation), and God will make the seed grow into his kingdom! As Paul the preacher says in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7:
“I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God gave growth. In this, neither the planter not the waterer counts for anything; only God, who gives growth.” (NJB)
The second “parable of the mustard seed” tells us that the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grew, it grew into the biggest shrub of all and all the birds settled in it!
Again, the second parable tells us that the kingdom of God will come in all its fullness at the end of time, but more than that, the second parable tells us that the kingdom of God will include all the nations of the world! (CSB)
To begin with, the kingdom of God is not the kingdom of man. The kingdom of man is a political, nationalistic and military kingdom; but the kingdom of God is a kingdom of love, joy and peace! The kingdom of God includes all the kingdoms of man!
The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that the Lord will plant a cedar tree, that is, a large evergreen tree, and all the birds will settle in it!
The first reading tells us that the Lord will restore the kingdom of David through David’s descendant!
But again, it will not be King David’s political, nationalistic and military kingdom; but it will be the kingdom of love, joy and peace of Jesus Christ! A kingdom that will include all the kingdoms of the world!
The responsorial psalm is a psalm of thanksgiving! Thus the response of the responsorial psalm:
“It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.” (Ps 91 (92): 2; SM)
The responsorial psalm has three stanzas. The first stanza gives thanks to God for his love and faithfulness/truth (Faley)! (v. 3; SM) Love and faithfulness are the two attributes of God!
The second and third stanzas tell us that God protects, rewards and blesses the just! (CSB; NJBC; IBC) The second stanza tells us that the just will be prosperous and live long lives (HCSB)! (v. 13; SM) The third stanza tells us that the just will be fertile even when they are old! (v. 15; SM)
The second reading does not follow the theme of the Sunday, but the second reading has something important to tell us. The second reading tells us that we live by faith, not by sight!
Like Paul we would like to be in heaven with the Lord and to see him face to face, but we are on earth. We are to live by faith not by sight.
We are to please the Lord by doing good and by avoiding evil. For if we do good we will see the Lord in heaven, but if we do evil we will not see the Lord in heaven!
Today in the Eucharist, we give thanks to God for his kingdom and we ask God to continue to make his kingdom grow. We also ask God to help us sow the seed of his kingdom, that is, to preach his word, to proclaim the good news. We also ask God to help us please him by doing good and by avoiding evil, so that one day; we will be with him in heaven! A happy and blessed Sunday to all of you!
Parish Priest of St Mary, Tawau, Sabah East Malaysia.