Gospel Reading 17 June 2018

 Gospel Mk4:26-34

Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.  The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”  He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?  It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 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.”  With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

Journeying with the Gospel Steps:

1. We read the Gospel passage several times to become familiar with the past event it describes. Where it took place?  When it took place. Who was involved?  What happened back then?

2. In Meditation we allow the passage to put us in touch with similar events in our lives and in our world today, in our personal relationships, in family life, workplace, in church community, society or world –  until we come to see God’s presence and activity to be as real in “today’s events” as in the “past events,

3. Spontaneously we are moved to a prayer of thanksgiving, or repentance or petition or all three.

“But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”  Can you remember a time in your life where you have experienced both pleasure and pain and that looking back you know that both were required to attain the end result?

Pregnant with new life but having to face the pains of childbirth. Students ripe with knowledge but having to endure the stress and pressure required to attain the harvest of good results. Reaching old age and coming to terms with the pains and losses of independence but being happy having lived a rich fulfilling life. Experiencing the loss of a loved one but feeling enriched for having had them in your life and that their life still shines through in the faces of your children/grandchildren.

“and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

How inclusive am I regarding other people who don’t think and act and speak like me?

Do I “put forth large branches” of welcome for them? As a country are we welcoming of other cultures, denominations, sexual orientations, etc? Jesus is inviting “all the birds of the air” and there are many colours and varieties of birds and they are all welcome.

“He spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.”

In our lives today – within our family, community, country or world, many words are spoken or written which we do not understand. Confusing, harsh, untruthful, unloving words. Words that lead to division, darkness, hatred, confusion. Give thanks for those in your life that use wise, truthful words that you understand. Words that lead to hope, love, peace, faith and truth. Pray for those in the media, politics, church, community that they speak the truth with wisdom and love.