Homily (Reflection) for the Eleventh Sunday of the Year (B) (17th June, 2018) on the Gospel
Ezek 17:22-24;Ps 91:2-3.13-16 (R. cf. V. 2);
A mad man who was living alone measured out some quantity of dried corn. After setting it on fire, he left the house to fetch firewood. But on his return, he was surprised to see that the pot was no longer enough for the corn. He thought that someone crept in while he was away and added some to the one he set on fire. With a very loud voice he called on ‘whoever added more corn’ to his to come and take it back. According to him, he knew the quantity of corn he had in the pot.
Topic: Mere Instruments.
Today’s gospel is made up of two parables. The first parable reads in part: “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how” (Mk 4:26-27). Again, the mustard seed according to the gospel pericope,
…is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade (Mk 4:31-32).
It is worth noting that if the mustard seed is not sown upon the ground, it will continue to be the smallest of all the seeds. The act of sowing moves the mustard seed from one condition to other – from being the smallest seed to becoming the greatest of all shrubs (two extremes). Imagine someone who has just a mustard seed. He/she may even throw it away grudging that he/she has “nothing”.
Often, we do lack confidence in ourselves. Some find it very difficult to believe that they are good for anything. Many dreams are thereby left unfulfilled. Some of these dreams are capable of changing the entire world.
Whatever gift one has can be greater than the biblical mustard seed if put in use. If not, your gift/s will rot away as the smallest of all the gifts.
Kingdom of God is not just something the blessed will experience hereafter. It can be experienced here on earth, hence, we pray that the face of the earth be renewed – “Send forth your Spirit and they shall be recreated. And you shall renew the face of the earth”. The kingdom of God is within us, cf. Lk. 17:21. If kingdom is understood as the abode of the king, then the kingdom of God must be where God lives. And God lives within us, cf. 1Cor 6:19. The kingdom of God can also be seen as “… righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17).
We are all instruments in the hands of God. Every instrument is meant for something big. The major difference between us and other instruments is that we can refuse to be used by God. God has right to use us as He wills just as the potter has right over the clay, Rom 9:21. God wants us all to put all He blessed us with into work and these will bring out others that we never knew that we have. What each of us can become is only known to God, cf. Matt 24:36; Mk 13:32. We can become so big in the Lords vineyard if we let our gifts out, cf. Matt 25: 14-30. Just as the mustard seed cannot plant itself, our gifts cannot use themselves. We are mere mortals and God works in so many ways that we might not be able to understand through us, cf. 2Cor 4:7.
In summary, just like that mad man we saw in the introductory part of this homily, one might think that he/she knows what he/she can do and what he/she cannot, but God can use every instrument beyond every imagination. Let us allow ourselves to be used by starting now to do what is good. How they will become big and how big is in God’s hand, cf. Matt 9:38; Lk 10:2.
Bible Reading: Matt 25: 14-30; Lk 17:20-37; Rom 14: 15-21; 1Cor 6:12-20; Ps 16:1-11.
Thought for today: Do you know that you are just an instrument in the hand of God?
Let us pray: Lord and Master, give us the grace that will enable us put every gift we have received from you into proper use – Amen.
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