We only have to sow, God will do the rest

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 17:22-24

Thus says the Lord GOD: I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot, and plant it on a high and lofty mountain; on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it. It shall put forth branches and bear fruit, and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it, every winged thing in the shade of its boughs. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the LORD, bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom. As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.

2 Corinthians 5:6-10

Brothers and sisters: We are always courageous, although we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yet we are courageous, and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord. Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

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 Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus teaches us with two parables about seeds.

In the first parable, the sower sows the seed, “the seed would sprout and grow, without his knowing how” (Mk 4:27). Then the sower comes to gather the harvest when the grain is ripe. If God is the sower and harvester and we are the seed, we will face the harvester when we grow into a full head of grain. If we must appear before Christ’s judgement seat and be recompensed for what we have done as His follower, St. Paul advises us in the second reading that we must make it our aim to please Christ.

In the second parable, Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed, the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet it grows up to become the greatest of all shrubs with large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade (Ref Mk 4:31-32).

In the scorching heat of this summer, it is easy for us to visualize a sprawling mustard shrub offering a cool shade to God’s creation that seek shelter from the heat of the sun. As we reflect on this parable in the context of our own faith journey, perhaps we will each have a story or two to tell of the experience of solace and love we find in God, in His Providence, in the mustard shrub – our Church, the kingdom of God on earth – and in the faith community. We who are blessed with the gift of faith must share it with others especially those who do not know our God. Let us sow the seed of faith by our words and action. To people who do not know us, action is as important as our words because it is from our action that they see and make judgements about Christians. Jesus teaches us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world so that “they may see [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16). God is love. Let us sow the seed of Christian love through our action.

We only have to sow, God will do the rest.

Posted: June 17, 2018

Shiu Lan

Shiu Lan is your Catholic neighbour with a simple faith and likes praying the Rosary. With a B.Sc from the University of Hong Kong, she worked in Information Technology and Project Management before working with joy at home.

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