11th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today’s Gospel tells us about the Reign of God. God’s Kingdom is accomplished When we, together with God, plant the seeds of goodness, and are willing to wait with patience for the abundant harvest.

  • To the point: “This is how it is,” Jesus says in this gospel. There is no single way to describe the “kingdom of God.” But these two parables teach us that the kingdom is realized in the intersection of our own work (plant the seed) with God’s work (the mystery of life growing and bearing fruit). The Good News is that God’s kingdom is assured — the scattered seed will yield a harvest; the tiny   seed will grow into a large plant. “This is (really) how it is!” Faith calls us to wait in hope for the harvest to yield.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Mark 4: 26-34) to the first reading: The first reading describes all the work God does to bring forth life. The gospel tells us that this life is the kingdom of God becomes visible and fruitful. The tender top branch of the cedar increases the quality of life within and around her.
  • Connecting the Gospel to experience: Much of what we do successfully every day depends  upon our cooperation with others. Making visible God’s kingdom is first of all the work of God, but isn’t it wonderful that God chooses to invite us to cooperate in this great work!

Centering prayers

The Gospel

(Mark 4: 26-34)

To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?

O God, plant in us, like you do the tiny mustard plant,
all your blessed roots. Dig down deep into our souls!
Rain into our hearts and minds!
Grow into so large a bush that all of our actions
all of our ideas, all our loves nestle and shelter  in your branches.
Make the birds of the sky and all of creation dwell in our shade.

The First Reading

(Ezekiel 17: 22-24)

Thus says the Lord God: “I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost
branches tear off a tender shoot, and plant it on a high and lofty mountain!”

Lord God, please love our topmost branches.
Cleanse the tender shoot that is our heart.
Do your wondrous works. Let us put forth fruit
and branches that sweep the sky.
Let birds of every kind dwell there,
every winged thing, in the shade of their boughs.

The Second Reading

(2 Corinthians 5:6-10)

“Therefore, we aspire to please him, whether we are at home or away.”

Lord, whether we dwell at home or far away
guide our steps into your way.
Help us heal some of the pain
we find in neighbors and in our  planet.
Fill us with your courage, walking by faith, not by sight.

Copyright © 2024 Anne M. Osdieck

Music for reflection