Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

Tomorrow’s Gospel speaks about the kingdom of God growing as seed that is sown. The man sows the seed and day after day he rises and the seed grows into a large bush where the birds rest in its shade.

This is a meditation on this Gospel from one of my sisters:

“Through it all the seed would sprout . . .”

The mustard bush is a fast-growing plant that springs up like the pesky weeds in our yards and gardens. The comparison of the kingdom to the mustard seed would be, in a sense, like comparing the kingdom to dandelions. They inevitably spring up. No matter how much you try to eliminate them, they always return, unless you make a concerted, consistent, daily effort to eradicate them.

It is a comfort to know that the kingdom is that strong.

It is invisible. Jesus didn’t compare the kingdom to an olive tree, but rather to a commonplace shrub.

It is mysterious. Jesus says it comes from the smallest of seeds and somehow takes root like seeds sown by the hands of a farmer.

It springs up with little effort. We don’t have to wait for it to appear, plan for it, organize it, or create strategies for its growth. It is here. The kingdom grows quickly.

It is where? Invisible, mysterious, with little effort. . . . That sounds like the Incarnation. That sounds like the poor, the oppressed, the terminally ill, the ones taken advantage of, marginalized, unjustly treated.

“Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40). The kingdom of God is a powerless power that will overturn the world, disperse the arrogant of mind and heart, cast down the rulers from their thrones, and send the rich away empty (see Lk 1:51–53).

Are you as sure of the kingdom’s growth as you are of the dandelions? If not, wake up to it all around you in hidden places. Reverence it there. Serve it there. Live it there.

If you have enjoyed this meditation, you’ll find meditations on all the Gospels of Ordinary Time in: Ordinary Grace Weeks 1-17.

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