Homilies by Father Jaimon Dominic » Notes » Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

  • Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

    Posted by Mary Wilson June 17, 2018 - Category: Spirituality - 488 views - 0 comments - 0 likes

    The world is changing and developing. We often hear this phrase and often the change and development would refer to infrastructures. If one tries to re-visit a certain place which he/she has visited five or ten years ago, he/she would marvel at the sight. Especially in the modern cities, there is a movement towards growth and development. And we are delighted to see this progress.

    The gospel passage we have this Sunday is one of the so-called Parables of the Kingdom. There are two parables narrated to us by Jesus in order to describe the kingdom of God. Both are parables of the seed, and they speak about growth and fullness of the Kingdom.

    In order to understand these two parables, the context in which Jesus spoke is important; Jesus had been talking about the Kingdom of God and how people would live in conformity to God's will. It was apparent that it wasn't happening then. So Jesus’ disciples were feeling discouraged because there was little evidence of progress and a lot of evidence of resistance. They were a small, discouraged group of fugitives with a leader. Now in this context Jesus told these parables to give them hope in times of discouragement and sustain them in the face of future persecution. His words have a message, not only for his original disciples, but for us as well.

    The parable of the mustard seed is a word of encouragement for us. Since the acceptance of God’s rule by human beings is a very slow process, there is the danger of discouragement and hopelessness among preachers, evangelizers and believers. Things might not be what you and I want them to be, but there is still hope. God works in mysterious ways. God is still with us even when our efforts are frustrated, because He is the source of growth. Growth often starts out small like a mustard seed and then blossoms into something huge.

    Everything must begin somewhere. No one emerged fully grown from his mother's womb. Most of plants and trees that we grow start with seeds. Once buried on the ground, the seed dies, sprouts and grows. In the same way, the Kingdom of God begins with a seed. But what is that seed? We can think of many things. It can be our Catholic faith which has been planted in us when we received the sacrament of Baptism. It can be the Word of God which has been scattered or planted in us. And also the seeds can be in the form of words of love, acts of encouragement, deeds of charity, mercy and forgiveness. Parents and teachers can plant a lot of seeds in the minds of their children and students. So we are called to scatter the seeds and the Holy Spirit will touch the hearts of the recipients of these seeds sown by us and will effect growth of the kingdom in their souls and lives.

    Through these parables Jesus also wanted his disciples to realize that despite their few numbers and the opposition against them a great Church would arise from their labors. The history books show how correct He was. Someone has noted that masterpieces come from the smallest beginnings. From eight notes come every hymn, song, and symphony ever composed. Arguably one the greatest piece of music ever written is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony - all of it from eight notes. Our literature is born from the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. From them came the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. So one does not have to produce masterpieces to have an effect. Small acts make a difference.

    In a restaurant, a family of five bowed their heads in prayer before beginning to eat. One of the children, a girl of about ten, expressed thanks for the entire family in a hushed voice, her head bobbing expressively. A few moments later a couple, on their way to pay their check, paused at the family's table. "It's been a long time since we've seen anyone do that," said the man, extending his hand to the father. The father smiled and replied, "It was strange at first, but we always express thanks at home before we eat. The children continued it when we went to restaurants, so we just went along with it, and now it's our way." The woman who had come up to the table patted the little girl on the shoulder and, obviously touched, looked at the mother and said, "Don't ever stop. It means a lot to those around you." It seems like such a little thing, but it was a witness. The seeds of the kingdom are little, and we are called to scatter them.