Commentary: 11th Sunday Year B

1st Reading: Ezekiel 17:22–24

Responsorial Psalm: 92:2–3, 13–16

2nd Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6–10

Gospel: Mark 4:26–34
26 He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

This parable points to the paradox and the mysteries that underlie the growth of the Kingdom. Also we are called to sow the seed, provide good soil (tilling, watering, etc) and cultivate when ripe, the actual growth lites beyond our knowledge and control (see 1 Cor. 3:6-7). Only God decides what will grow and be fruitful and what will not. Maybe God will prune and allow the soil to lie fallow this year. That’s His business. “A paradox is something that surprises us because it is contrary (para)  to the common thinking (doxa). So, paradoxically, when it comes to “having what it takes” to be an effective evangelizer, the Lord often shows that he did not “get the memo.” (Msgr Pope).

30 He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
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