11TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME: MARK 4:26-34
In today’s gospel, Jesus speaks about two parables: The parable of the kingdom and the parable of the mustard seed. In the first parable, the parable of the kingdom, we have seen that the farmer scattered the seed on the land and the farmer waited for harvest time. The cycle of growth followed its own secret rhythm and the seed sprouted and grew, but the farmer had no idea how this happened. This is the way it is with the kingdom of God. We hear the word of God, and it takes root in our hearts, grows, and spreads. We do not know how this happens because this is God’s grace working in our lives.
There is a movie called, “Pay It Forward.” The message of the movie is: when someone does a good deed, don’t pay it back. Pay it forward! This means: instead of paying back to the person, who gave to us, “do two good deeds” to someone else, who hopefully will then “do two good deeds” to another person, that person can do “two good deeds” to another person. “Paying it forward” multiplies and multiplies until everyone benefits.
In today’s gospel, we have seen that the sower, Jesus, sows the seed of faith and the seed of love in our hearts; instead of paying back to Jesus, we should “sow it forward” to two more persons. The one, who receives these seeds, will “sow it forward” to more persons. During the time at the end, the whole world will receive these seeds and hear the word of God!
This is our challenge – If we don’t do anything and if we remain paralyzed in our fears and are uncertain of the outcome, everyone loses. If we do something, take initiative and face the challenges, we will win in our insides and something will sprout. Though, we may not be sure what it is until the flowers bloom in the deepest and darkest valleys of our lives. We just need to wake up and smell the flowers and have faith in our sower, Jesus.
The sower in our gospel did not just sow one seed or handful of seeds. The sower sowed lavishly, throwing seeds everywhere. We are called to not love just one person or a few persons, but to lavish our love unconditionally on everyone.
The second parable is that of the tiny mustard seed that grows many times its size. It grows into a large bush and the birds can find shelter and shade in its branches. The Kingdom of God is like this tiny mustard seed. Even though it is very tiny, the inside of the seed is very strong and solid. Our seeds of faith should be deep and solid. Whether our faith lives are small or big, if we cooperate with God’s plans in our lives, we will be led to abundant fruits with God’s blessings.
As birds find shelter in trees, we can find comfort in God’s grace, and we will be able to enjoy happiness and peace in God’s heavenly kingdom. Let us try being diligent and doing our roles faithfully and without failure. God is with us. God will give us the fruits and the grace through the power of the Holy Spirit that we need!