January 31, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Memorial of Saint John Bosco, Priest

Mark 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. Herwyn Bulaun):

     I grew up in a place where the people’s main source of income is agricultural related job. My father and mother are both farmers. Until now whenever I go home, I still witness how they cultivate our small farm land. It requires perseverance, patience and faith in order to have good harvest.

     As I share my reflection on today’s Gospel, Jesus used two different stories to illustrate the Kingdom of God. However, the common of the two is the use of seeds. I believe there is something that transpired here if only to look beyond the process of the sowing and planting seeds.  I will liken these parables to the experience of my parents whenever they plant and eventually harvest.

     Whenever my parents plant palay, there is a process where the grains will be soaked in water so that their roots will sprout. After few days, as I observe the grains of the palay slowly disappearing a new plant starts to grow and produce its own roots. Furthermore, after just two to three weeks you will no longer recognize the old grains and a new palay plant is growing and soon will be harvested.

     The Kingdom of God is a constant call to be transformed to live in the image and likeness of Christ. It’s a daily process of dying to oneself by letting go of our comfort zones to reach-out to others, to be a servant in the midst of undesirable people and to be hopeful in hopelessness. The process is hard but the promise of Jesus is enough to persevere, hope and be patient in life.

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