11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Published on 11 Jun 2018
Sprouting seeds

The Kingdom of God

O God, strength of those who hope in you,

graciously hear our pleas,

and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing,

grant us always the help of your grace,

that in following your commands

we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.

Our readings this week are full of hope and confidence. May we grow in joyful hope as we pray and ponder them. The theme of growth, seeds and trees winds in and out of these readings. So does the notion of universality: God’s kingdom is for the whole of humanity.

In the First Reading, God, through the prophet Ezekiel, promises the tiny remnant of Israel that they will grow into a new people, just as the cedar grows from a small shoot.

The Psalm is a song of thanksgiving to the Lord who enables the just to grow and flourish like a cedar.

St Paul, in the Second Reading, reminds the Corinthians of the confidence they have, despite the tensions of living while waiting for the Lord. This fills them with the expectation of being with him one day.

The Gospel contains two parables of the Kingdom: that of the seed growing secretly; and the parable of the mustard seed. Both parables reveal God working continuously for the growth of his kingdom.

As we go about our lives this week, we may find other metaphors for the God who works secretly for his kingdom in all those around us, in our surroundings and in all events.

I am the one who makes the low trees grow.    First Reading

The just will flourish like the palm-tree and grow like a Lebanon cedar.    Psalm

Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.   Gospel

Once the mustard seed is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.   Gospel

This week’s texts if you want to reflect further:

Ezekiel 17: 22–24; Psalm 91 (92); 2 Corinthians 5: 6–10; Mark 4: 26–34