for Sunday, June 17, 2012
Our Lord speaks to us in parables. Over and over in the Gospels we hear
stories that the Lord is speaking as He tries to instruct us about
following God. Only if we are walking with Jesus in His way will we be
able to understand the meaning of the parables. It is not because Jesus
does not want us to understand, but because there is only one way to
understand stories: to be with the one who is telling the stories.
The first reading today from the Prophet Ezekiel and the Gospel both speak
about starting a new plant, about sowing seed, about making something grow.
The kingdom of heaven is about something new growing, in us and in the
world around us. God is at work and makes new things happen. God is
giving us His live and that is entirely new.
Perhaps today we take it for granted that God has become one of us in
order to save us. We must stop for a moment and realize how incredible
that is! God promises us His life and so He takes on our life and even
dies so that we can have life. The challenge for us is the same as it was
in the time of Jesus: do we want new life?
Quite often we are content with the life we have. We only want to have
enough food to eat and enough please to enjoy and we don't want to be
bothered with all the obligations of religiosity. This is sad. It means
that a person has not encountered the living God but has only encountered
religion in a bad way.
Once we begin to be aware of the new life that can be ours, we begin to
want it more and more. It is not any obligation of religiosity that brings
us to celebrate the Eucharist or to take part in the Christian community.
It is the encounter with the risen Lord. The Second Letter to the
Corinthians today puts it this way: we aspire to please Him, whether we
are at home or away.
Most people give up on Church or on religious practice because they have
never met the Lord. You and I need to find ways to invite people to meet
the Lord. If we ourselves have not met Him, then we cannot preach Him or
give witness to Him. May this new life that God promises us take place in
our lives and may we be able to share it with others.
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Ezekiel 17.22-24
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5.6-10
Gospel: Mark 4.26-34
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: