Sunday Gospel reflection: Simple acts help grow God’s kingdom

Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B

If a small farmer in Puerto Rico wants a fence that will last, a strong limb from a roble tree will do the job. The branch, once placed in a post hole along a fence line, will come alive in the moist tropical soil. New growth will soon appear on the seemingly dead post. It will grow into a sturdy tree which will resist rot and decay.

Life can be held in a piece of wood or the most insignificant seed. The Bible offers us parables: the cedar twig spoken of by the prophet Ezekiel, the grain of wheat and the mustard seed in Mark’s Gospel. They show us that the kingdom of God can come alive in our world from the most insignificant of things.

A simple act of kindness to a stranger, standing up to give witness against an injustice, or handing a warm bowl of soup to a hungry person may be the small act that plants the seed of the kingdom in another person’s heart. Christianity itself took root from a small community of men and women fearfully huddled together in the upper room after the Crucifixion. Jesus, their teacher, was seen by the authorities as just an itinerant preacher from Galilee whose teachings caused them trouble. Today, Christians account for a full third of the world’s population. Confidently scattering its seeds, we know the kingdom grows around us.

— Michael Dougherty


Readings:

Ezekiel 17:22–24

Psalm 92:2–3, 13–14, 15–16

2 Corinthians 5:6–10

Mark 4:26–34

JesusLiving with ChristMark 4:26–34Michael DoughertyParable of the mustard seedParable of the seed’s growthSunday Gospel Reflections
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