June 14, 2015: 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 4:26-34)
Here we go again! Jesus talking about seeds! The mustard seed is the tiniest seed Jesus could find. We ask a lot of why questions. Why the earthquake in Nepal? Why do young people there have no home these days? Why do we have so much? The answers are beyond us, but not beyond God.
We can be thought of as seeds. At the moment of our birth, our parents had no idea what they’ve gotten in to. They didn’t know what you and I would be like. At birth each baby is a story which hasn’t been written. We write our story minute-by-minute, day-by-day, year-by-year. What we grow up to be is a song written by our choices and the things God built into us.
Jesus says that what he is about is helping us all grow up together into what we call his kin-dom. Jesus uses the word “kingdom” or reign of God, but it means that we treat each other all over the world like family, or kin.
He says we go to bed at night and get up in the morning and we do nothing about growing taller and somehow it happens. There are some things like that we have nothing to say about. God has built them into nature. A baby learning to walk doesn’t decide each day to get up and try again. Wanting to walk is built into human babies. Growing up to be a mustard tree is built into a mustard seed. Growing toward being one human family is God’s dream for humans and we can count on God’s help.
Draw two cartoons.
1. You trying to do the hardest thing you have to do tomorrow by yourself.
2. You asking for help from God and trusted others to do the same thing.
Are you acting like family in the first cartoon?
Thank you for this beautifully written reflection. Today, it has touched my heart and spirit deeply, especially the line – “What we grow up to is a song written by our choices and the things God built into us”.
Thank you, Liz. I can’t tell you how much it means to hear some response. Thank you for having me reflect again on the daily choices and the song I’m writing.