Readings and meditation on the Word of God on the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 13,   2021.

1st reading is delivered by Brother David, SDB, 2nd reading is delivered by Brother Noel, SDB (from Salesian Post Novitiate Community in Jakarta, Indonesia), Gospel reading and meditation delivered by Father Peter Tukan, SDB (Social Communication Office of Salesian in Jakarta, Indonesia)

Ezekiel 17: 22-24; Rs psalm 92: 2-3.13-14.15-16; 2 Corinthians 5: 6-10; Mark 4: 26-34.

The reading is taken from the book of the prophet Ezekiel

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;
on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it.
It shall put forth branches and bear fruit,
and become a majestic cedar.
Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it,
every winged thing in the shade of its boughs.
And all the trees of the field shall know
that I, the LORD,
bring low the high tree,
lift high the lowly tree,
wither up the green tree,
and make the withered tree bloom.
As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.

The Word of the Lord.

The reading is taken from the Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians

Brothers and sisters:
We are always courageous,
although we know that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord,
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Yet we are courageous,
and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.
Therefore, we aspire to please him,
whether we are at home or away.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
so that each may receive recompense,
according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

The Word of the Lord

The reading is taken from the holy Gospel according to Mark

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.”

He said,
“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.

The Gospel of the Lord

The theme for our meditation on this 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time is: The Process of Growth In God. This is a process of becoming what God wants us human beings to be. We humans are the one who must get into this process and grow, while God is the one who accompanies and gives life to this process. It is impossible for God to grow to become anything or anyone else, because He is already perfect. The God from the beginning to the end is perfect.

We humans must go through each stage of becoming which is from a natural and a given condition of our respective cultures towards the dignity gifted  to be the sons and daughters of God. We were truly created in the image and likeness of God. But our fall into sin has stained our sacred image and likeness. It is on this basis that the process of change or becoming is made and it constantly becomes according the way of God.

Our process of growth in God implies that the prime mover is God Himself. What God really does in this movement is to bring those on high down and to raise those down on high. This movement actually refers to the fact that our life already damaged by sin which consequently damages also our sacred image and likeness. We must let ourselves to beprocessed of becoming new from weaknesses, lowliness, smallness, and sinfulness. By going through this way then we will become better persons and our dignity restored. This movement will bring us to remain in the providence of God and we truly enjoy growing in the Lord our God. Creating, caring and fostering really belong to the very basic acts of God.

This process of growth is well described in the first reading from the prophet Ezekiel that presents a parable about thetree from low to be brought and planted on the high mountain of Israel. It would be a great tree upon which all kinds of birds and animals would come to enjoy a living on it. All will take shelter under it. The parable of the mustard seed in the today’s Gospel also emphasizes the process of becoming from the smallest seed, then it grows into a larger tree so as to benefit the birds that come to it.

Our process of growth in God actually has another meaning as well, namely a movement within us human beings. What is indispensable on our part as human beings is our collaboration with God. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul speaks about a collaboration that takes place in the context of human work and effort sustained by our patience and endurance. It is not enough if we have faith or sort of doctrinal concepts. We must embody this faith with works, deeds, tireless effort, and steadfastness in every struggle. The outcome of this effortcan’t be seen directly and quickly, but it will come out indirectly along with our waiting for the coming of the glory of God. We will never have any process outside the plan and will of God.

Let’s pray. In the name of the Father… O Lord God, bless us to always choose the path of Your Son Jesus and our Teacher who teaches us to be perfect like You. Our Father who art in heaven… In the name of the Father…

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