⏰Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

📕Ezek 17:22-24; Ps 92:1-2, 12-13, 14-15 (R.v.1a); 2 Cor 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34

The theme of today’s liturgical celebration finds its summary in the words of the prophet Habakkuk, “For this is a vision for the appointed time; it concerns the end and will not fail. If it lingers, wait for it, for it will surely come and will not be delayed” (Hab 2:3).

In both the First Reading and the Gospel, the kingdom of God was compared to a growing shoot that continues steadily until it becomes a very big shrub that provides shelter and protection to those around it. The symbols of a twig (i.e. a very tiny branch) in the First Reading and a very tiny seed of the mustard in the Gospel may indicate hopelessness. How would those tiny things be able to grow into big shrubs?

That was exactly the mindset of both the prophet Ezekiel in the First Reading and the early Christians of the Markan Church. With that prophecy (Ezek 17:22-24), Ezekiel had thought of an immediate restoration of the kingdom of Israel to its past glory. But that did not happen as he thought. Again the early Christians were becoming disheartened at the slow growth of the Christian faith, fearing that it may collapse completely.

Many of us, like them, have also been in a position where we pray for favours from God or wished that things were different for us, but they never turned out in that way. At those times, we also become disheartened.

The fact that the twig and the mustard seed eventually becomes what they were meant to become should serve as encourage us at those moments. Insofar as the mouth of the Lord has decreed it, it shall come to pass (cf. Isa 55:10-11). So, even it delays, wait for it with faith and hope, for it must surely come to pass (cf. Hab 2:3).

While we wait, we must ensure that we do our level best to please the Lord in all things and at all times. That is the message of St. Paul in the Second Reading. That is the message that St. Thomas Aquinas summarized in the following words, “Faith will tell us that Christ is present when our human senses fail.” If we depend on our human senses, we may walk into error.

This is also a message for all of us, in our different capacities as leaders in the society especially leaders of the youth, parents, priests, catechists, formators in the formation houses. We must learn and embrace the virtue of patience while we try to make the best out of those placed under us. The goal of formation should be to bring out the best from the person being formed, and not to destroy the growing shoot with impatience.

Let us understand that we are chosen and formed by God out of love. Love should control our attitudes towards the people who are placed under us (Read 1Pet 5:1-4).

May God give us the grace of perseverance in the face of difficulties that confront us daily and also make us see the hour of salvation he promised us. May he also enable us to see ourselves as instruments chosen to guide his chosen to a fuller union with him and not to scatter them. Amen.

Have a blessed Sunday. Peace be with you.

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