11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
This is what the Kingdom of God is like ...
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.
This Sunday, the Old Testament reading, Psalm and Gospel alike all use simple and beautiful images from nature to teach us eternal truths. It is as if we are being encouraged to both see and draw from the wisdom of God as expressed throughout the natural world.
The Prophet Ezekiel (First Reading) uses a shoot from a mighty cedar tree to describe how the Kingdom of God will grow, and to describe how intimately God is at work throughout creation.
The psalmist sings of the cedar of Lebanon and the palm-tree. Those whose life is rooted in the Lord will always bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom Parables in the Gospel draw on similar images of God’s seeds of love and truth slowly growing and bearing fruit in ways that we often cannot see, and fail to understand fully. The Kingdom of God is within us and around us. It is not a realm of power and dominance; rather it is a spirit of growth and nourishment rooted in compassion and love, providing shelter and sustenance for all.
In the Second Reading, Paul encourages us to be confident of our faith and to place our trust in Christ.
Perhaps in our prayer for this coming week, we can make a special effort to look more deeply at nature on our doorstep and connect more meaningfully with it. May we have eyes to see God’s Kingdom at work throughout nature and in our fellow human beings. May we grow ever closer to God in all that we do, so that we may be living expressions of God’s Kingdom on Earth.
Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old, still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just. Responsorial Psalm
The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, the smallest of seeds,
yet grows into the biggest shrub of them all. Gospel
This week’s texts if you want to explore further:
Ezekiel 17: 22–24; Psalm 91 (92); 2 Corinthians 5: 6–10; Mark 4: 26–34
Download the full reflection below: