Friday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
and ever-living God,
your love that is within us,
our efforts in the name of your Son
bring mankind to unity and peace.
ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading - Mark 4, 26-34
Jesus said, 'This is what the
kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the land. Night and day, while
he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does
not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear,
then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, at once he starts
to reap because the harvest has come.'
He also said, 'What can we say
that the kingdom is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard
seed which, at the time of its sowing, is the smallest of all the seeds on
earth. Yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts
out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.' Using
many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were
capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but
he explained everything to his disciples when they were by themselves.
It is always beautiful to see Jesus, who sought in life and in events, new
elements and images which could help people to perceive and experience the
presence of the Kingdom In today’s Gospel, once again, he narrates two brief
stories which take place every day in the life of all of us: “The story of the
seed that grows by itself” and “the story of the small mustard seed which grows
into the biggest shrub”.
• The story of the seed which grows alone. The farmer who plants
knows the process: seed, the green sprout, leaf, spike, grain. The farmer knows
how to wait, he does not cut down the grain before it is time. But he does not
know how the soil, the rain, the sun and the seed have this force or strength
to make the plant grow from nothing until it bears fruit. This is how the
Kingdom of God is. It is a process, there are stages and moments of growth. It
takes place in time. It produces fruit at the just moment, but nobody knows how
to explain its mysterious force. Nobody, not even the landlord. Only God!
• The story of the small mustard seed which grows and becomes big. The mustard seed is
small, but it grows and at the end, the birds make their nests in its branches.
This is how the Kingdom is. It begins very small, it grows and it extends its
branches. The parable leaves an open question which will receive a response
later on in the Gospel: Who are the birds? The text suggests that it is a
question of the Pagans who will not be able to enter into the community and
participate in the Kingdom.
• Because Jesus teaches by means of the Parables. Jesus tells many
parables. All are taken from the life of the people! In this way he helped
persons to discover the things of God in daily life, a life which becomes
transparent. Because what is extraordinary of God is hidden in the ordinary and
common things of daily life. People understood the things of life. In the
parables they received the key to open it and to find in it the signs of God.
4) Personal questions
Jesus does not explain the Parables. He tells the stories and awakens in others
the imagination and the reflection of the discovery. What have you discovered
in these two Parables?
The objective of the words is to render life transparent. Has your life become
more transparent throughout the years, or has the contrary taken place?
5) Concluding Prayer
Have mercy on me, O God, in your
in your great tenderness wipe away
wash me clean from my guilt,
purify me from my sin. (Ps 51,1-2)