Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (4: 26-34) where Jesus shares the parables of the growing seed and mustard seed.Fr Paul begins the reflection by sharing that Jesus was from the country, from the rich agricultural plains of Galilee, where wheat and fruit-trees were plentiful. It was natural for him to use such imagery for the Kingship of God which he was proclaiming.
Fr Paul says today’s gospel reading offers us two of the many images in Mark’s chapter of parables. What did Jesus want to teach by them? Images can carry many layers of meaning.First, the seed growing secretly. Perhaps Jesus meant that God’s purposes are accomplished in spite of our feeble, fumbling efforts. Perhaps it was a warning that, after waiting so long for a decision, the time of harvest had come with Jesus’ own mission. Then there is the parable of the mustard seed. Was this a reply to the discouraged disciples? Or perhaps Jesus’ critical opponents? That his motley little group of undistinguished peasants, fishermen and tax-collectors would grow into God’s own mighty tree. Perhaps this is a first hint that Jesus’ mission is for all nations, not just for Israel. All nations would come, nest, and find a home in its branches.
Fr Paul says, at any rate, both images show that God is in charge, and has great plans which will be fulfilled despite our own inadequacies.
For today’s reflection, Fr Paul invites us to reflect on this lesson; ‘No matter what our plans are, not matter what out plans may be…God is always in charge’.
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