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Friday, 11 June 2021 02:32

Celebrating At Home - 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

What is the Kingdom of God like?

We return to Ordinary Time in the Church’s year this Sunday with two parables about the Kingdom of God.

Parables are meant to leave the hearers wondering. They are not straight-forward answers to questions. They are food for thought.

In the Gospels Jesus is rarely concerned about facts and figures, dates and times. By using parables Jesus is trying to engage his listeners at a deeper level. He wants his teaching to seize their hearts.

He wants them to discover the truth of what he is saying for themselves. It is part of the business of conversion - coming to see with new eyes.

It is wonderful to see Jesus, again and again, looking at life and at what’s happening around him, for things and images that might help the people to detect and to experience the presence of the Kingdom.

In Mark’s Gospel the Kingdom is not something yet to come, it is a present reality. It is the presence and action (reign) of God among his people. That may not always been readily seen, but it is there none the less. It may seem to have humble beginnings (like the small seed in the second parable), but the experience of it grows into something all- consuming.

The story of the seed that grows all on its own

The farmer who plants the seed knows the process: first the seed, then the green shoot, the leaf, the ear and the grain. The farmer knows how to wait and will not cut the stalk before it is time, but he does not know from where the power comes for the soil, the rain, the sun and the seed to make a seed turn into fruit. That’s what the Kingdom of God is like. It’s a process. There are stages and points of growth. It takes time and happens in time. The fruit comes at the right time but no one can explain its mysterious power.

The story of the tiny mustard seed that turns into something very big

The mustard seed is small, but it grows, to the point where the birds can make their nests in its branches. That’s what the Kingdom is like. It begins as something very small, it grows and spreads its branches providing shelter and shade where new life grows. (From Lectio Divina, June 2021 - www.ocarm.org)

Thinking about the Kingdom today sets a context for our continued listening to Mark’s Gospel and a reminder that God is at work in the world.

Jesus’ proclamation of the Kingdom is central and fundamental – the work of uncovering the often- hidden reign of God and returning humanity to God’s original plan for his family.

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Celebrating at Home is a Liturgy of the Word centred around the Gospel reading for each Sunday. It includes a reflection on the Gospel and prayers.

It can be used personally or with your family. Parts for all to pray are given in bold print and all the other parts can be shared among those present.

We hope that Celebrating at Home will be a source of nourishment and strength for all who use it.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.

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