Daily Reflection – Jun 17, 2018
Sunday 17 June 2018
First Reading: EZ 17:22-24
Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
PS 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16
Second Reading: 2 COR 5:6-10
Gospel Reading: MK 4:26-34
Today’s Note: Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
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 through it all 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.”
“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.
Without parables he did not speak to them. (Mark 4:34)
Did you know that you are quirky? It’s true. The fact that you are taking time out to read these words—and, most likely, to read the Scriptures from today’s Mass—sets you apart as unusual. Not too many people set aside time for prayer, after all.
But your quirkiness doesn’t end there. Do you go to Mass on Sundays? How odd! You could be sleeping in, like a lot of other people. Or getting up early to go fishing. Or any number of other things. Even if you went to Mass yesterday, that’s a peculiar way to spend a night off. There are restaurants to visit, movies to see, and TV shows to watch. But there you go, gathering with a bunch of other quirky people to sing to God and eat his Body and drink his Blood.
It gets worse. Do you forgive people from the heart—or at least try to? Do you try to see God in the people around you? How about going into a small booth and telling a man all of your sins? Who does those things?
Of course, you’re not really quirky. You’re only doing what God created you to do: love him and love your neighbor. But to many people, you are a mystery. And that’s exactly how Jesus wants it.
St. Mark tells us that Jesus himself spoke in riddles and parables to the people around him—he even mystified his closest disciples! This was part of his strategy: to provoke his listeners to think more deeply about God and about their lives. He wanted to awaken in them a hunger for God so that they would come ask him for more. Then, when they were ready, he could open their hearts to the “mystery of the kingdom of God” (Mark 4:11).
So keep being quirky! Love. Forgive. Pray. Give. Then, when someone asks why you are the way you are, tell them you’re just trying to be like Jesus. Who knows? You may win them over.
“Jesus, help me to reflect your love today.”