February 1, 2013

The Gospel Today

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

Mk.4: 26-34

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the Kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,
“To what shall we compare the Kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.)

The Gospel today speaks about the two parables about the Kingdom of God. The first parable is about the sower who scatters seeds on the land and waits for it to grow though he knows not how it grows on its own. The second parable is about the mustard seed that, considering its size when sown in the ground, becomes the biggest shrub known, which can be used for shelter by the birds that need rest.

Parables are simple stories used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels. Since the idea of the Kingdom of God is too broad for our human mind to comprehend, Jesus made sure that by using these parables, we will be able to understand its meaning and we willhave the chance of becoming part of it someday.

The Kingdom of God is the work of God alone. It is so mysterious that nobody knows about its totality except Him. Our only participation in its fulfillment is to be the instrument of proclaiming His Word here on earth. Hence, it is our responsibility to spread the Good News to those who do not have any encounterswith God yet and also to those who already know God and yet do not live out the teachings of our faith. And God, who knows everything, will do the rest. How he will do it? Only He knows.

As a priest-in-process, sometimes it is very tempting to think that my work in spreading the Good News is useless,especially when I do not see the end result, when I do not see the conversion among people whom I converse with. But trusting in God’s work surpasses this doubt. I know that this is just an invitation for me to simply trust in the natural process. Just like in the parable, when the seed meets the soil, and everything is up to God, a mysterious development will begin. What a wonderful process!

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