Reflection on the Eleventh Sunday Ordinary Time

by Fr Dumisani Mazibuko OSM

From the little seed to the large Tree

One thing is clear, growth is gradual and not instantaneous. Growth needs patience, determination and time. From the little seed to the large tree is the theme of this Sunday’s readings. Spiritual growth is a process. The first step is openness to growth. Indeed from the very beginning God created us so that we may grow not only spiritually but holistically. How best can we today best can we as Church be catalyst to the growth of the God’s Kingdom?. How can the Church support the growth of the Kingdom in areas where it seem to diminish? With the seed-God’s word implanted in us, how can we allow it to grow within us? I believe the growth of God’s Kingdom is being placed in our hands as we listen to God’s word . are we going to allow it to spread and grow within us?

1st reading                           Ez 17:22-24

Prophet Ezekiel makes a prophesy to the people of Israel while they are going through a difficult time in their history. Their last King had been defeated in war and had been taken into captive in Babylon. And this weakened their faith in God regarding the promise God had made to David and his descendants. Joiakin had been uprooted from his throne. However Joiakin brings a message of hope using a simile of the cedar branch. In as much as much as Israel were defeated and their king kept captive, God remained faithful to His promise. This reading invites us to keep trusting in God always especially when are expectations seem to be disregarded and our hopes in vain.

2nd reading                         2 Cor 5: 6-10

In this passage we see that St Paul is aging and beginning to feel weary. The many sufferings and persecutions had left their mark on vs 6-8, he compares himself to a person in exile. He feels like someone living far from his country because his mind is fixed on a country he awaits to live in in the near future. Paul yearns to be with God for ever, but to achieve that union he knows that he has to go through death. And this does not frighten him at all. However for Paul this state of mind is not an easy way out of responsibilities. I believe this is an invitation for us today face all spiritual challenges life presents us with. A lesson that new life does not spring out of nothing but sprouts from what one has done in this life.

Gospel                                           Mk 4:26-34

The gospel tells us two parables linked to work in the fields to describe and explain what the Kingdom of God is like. I will focus my attention to one aspect. Small beginnings may have great results. Jesus uses the example of a mustard seed which grows into a bush up to four meters high. We are tempted to despise small things. It easier for us to appreciate and respect big things that can be easily noticed than appreciate simple things. I believe that we should be rather convinced that we are small seeds ready to disappear underground to give rise to the large tree that is the Kingdom of God. The message of the parable should be for us a source of joy and optimism. Difficulties and failures can never take away from us the certainty that, in spite of all contrary appearances the Kingdom of God grows in the heart of men. Indeed the seed- word of God implanted in us will transform us. We all have the potential to grow as long as we allow God’s word.