Posted by: livingscripture | June 17, 2018

Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

 FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

Sunday June 17, 2018

     Week Eleven of Ordinary Time 

 WORD of the DAY 

He said, “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 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. (Mark 4: 26-29)

 

How shall I live this Word?

In the splendid and brief parable of the seed, which is exclusive to Mark,  I was struck and amazed at a very significant Greek term which must be understood well. The parable of Jesus states that in the impact of the seed with the earth there is a dynamic process of fruitfulness that occurs spontaneously. Between the sowing and the harvest there is an interval, highlighted in the text, in which everything is entrusted to the seed and to the earth, and in which God seems to be silent. But is not so! The time of God’s apparent absence must not disturb the farmer. In fact, the seed, despite external appearances, grows spontaneously! It is not the farmer who makes the seed grow. It is important that he plant it in the earth, but then he can sleep or keep watch, because it is not he who determines the development of the seed.

The sower therefore relies on the strength of the seed and then waits patiently for the time of growth. It is a great lesson of trust, of patience, and of abandonment to the mystery of God and of humans who, even if we do not know when or how or where, we  are destined at some intersection of history to finally meet and bear fruit. We can accelerate the times of technology, of our computers, but we cannot shorten the time that is needed for God in His underground, patient and invisible work. For the power  is not ours, but of the seed, which has the capacity in itself to open a gap.

Jesus, the divine sower is always evangelically an incurable optimist! The seed that is lost, let’s never forget it, is only what remains in the bag or in the hands of the lazy or too calculating sower.

We must be able to grasp the traces of God’s action in our daily life, without pretending to scrutinize spectacular and unlikely events on the horizon. Then comes the contagious trust that extinguishes our querulous complaints. In this way we acquire the capacity to see meaning in the ordinary, we become capable of praise and thanksgiving, and we live the industrious and patient expectation of the sower full of trust and hope.

 The Voice of St. Ambrose of Milan
Sow Christ in your garden – the garden is a place full of flowers and different fruits – so that the beauty of your work flourishes […]. There is Christ where there is every fruit. You sow the Lord Jesus: He is a seed when He is arrested, but a tree when He resurrects … It is a grain when it is buried in the earth, but it is a tree when it rises to heaven “.

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