Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, June 13
It Is God Himself Who Invites Each of Us to Be One with Him in This Life, So That We May Be One with Him Forever in The Next.
Our Lord, speaking to the crowds, asked, “To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?”
One of the most amazing truths of our faith is the indescribable wonders which await all who are faithful and embrace God’s will for us in our daily lives! The gift of Heaven is just that – a most wondrous gift! It is not some place or state of eternal existence which we earn or deserve, but rather it is a gift freely offered by God to all who love Him and live that same love for others.
And this gift is available to everyone, regardless of race, color, creed, religious or political persuasion. And we begin to experience this gift right here and now, in the life which we live and in the relationships we enjoy with one another, and most especially in the relationship which our Lord calls us to live with Him.
God did not create us to be an island unto ourselves; He did not create us to live apart from this world, but rather to become an integral part of all the wonders of human existence which surround us. And we are all interconnected as brothers and sisters of the One Eternal and Glorious Father.
In essence, it is as though we are all branches on a huge tree, and our nourishment and continued growth are entirely dependent upon the water and nutrients received from the tree itself. And if we are removed from the tree, we ultimately wither and die.
So it is in our relationship with God and His Kingdom. His Kingdom begins here on Earth rooted in Christ. Together with the Apostles and all the saints who have gone before us, we are each called to be members of His Kingdom. We are nourished through His words of truth and life which we find in Sacred Scripture. And we are constantly fed with the graces offered to us through His Church and in His Holy Sacraments.
Fundamentally, we become a part of that mustard seed which has grown and matured, giving comfort and shade to all who seek its benefits. And we find peace and joy in the faith which it offers, for it becomes home for those who find in it true rest and tranquility.
And this faith which fills our hearts is the faith which was born in Israel almost two thousand year ago, when the Eternal Word took our flesh upon Himself so that He could walk amongst His children as one of us, teaching us about the mind and the will of God for us in our daily lives, teaching us about the amazing truths of God’s unfathomable Love and limitless Mercy, and the profound wonders which await His faithful children.
For we read from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel today, “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.”
And we can discern this “majestic cedar” today as God’s Church, which has grown and matured, reaching out to peoples of all nations. From the “smallest of all the seeds on the earth”, the Kingdom of God is now being experienced, even if only in a partial way, by more than two billion Christians of all ages around the world.
As we reflect upon this faith which we live daily, we are reminded in our Second Reading that God’s Kingdom is not realized in its fullest sense until we finally live with our Lord in Heaven, our eternal home. In our earthly life in the present time, however, we struggle in our mortality and the frailty of our human nature. Our peace and our joy are imperfect; our tranquility and our happiness are incomplete.
For as Paul tells us, “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…”
But even in our desire to please God, and because of the inherent weaknesses in our human nature, we sometimes stumble. As a result, Paul reminds us, “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.”
In life, we struggle, because the Kingdom of God is not yet perfected within us. Yet, as we continue to age and mature, our faith grows and matures with us, until that moment when God’s faithful shall be rewarded with the fullness of His Kingdom in Heaven!
It is this fullness for which we yearn and are called to strive towards in all that we think, in all that we say and do, and it is God Himself who invites each of us to be one with Him in this life, so that we may be one with Him forever in the next.
May the words of today’s psalmist always express the desires of our hearts, as we reach out with a steadfast and enduring faith to the One who has created and redeemed us out of Divine Love –
“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praise to your name, Most High, To proclaim your kindness at dawn and your faithfulness throughout the night…They that are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “[Jesus] said, ‘To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?’” (Mark 4:30)
- “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.” (Mark 4:31-32)
- “We, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.” (Romans 12:5)
- “Thus says the Lord GOD: I, too, will pluck from the crest of the cedar the highest branch. From the top a tender shoot I will break off and transplant on a high, lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it. It shall put forth branches and bear fruit, and become a majestic cedar.” (Ezekiel 17:22-23b)
- “…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…” (2 Corinthians 5:6-9a)
- “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.” (John 15:5-6)
- “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.” (2 Corinthians 5:10)
- “Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Better the threshold of the house of my God than a home in the tents of the wicked.” (Psalm 84:11)
- “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praise to your name, Most High, To proclaim your love at daybreak, your faithfulness in the night…Planted in the house of the LORD, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.” (Psalm 92:2-3, 14)
Prayer for the Day
“To You, O living spring of mercy, all souls are drawn;Saint Maria Faustina (Diary, 1747b-1748)
some like deer, thirsting for Your love,
others to wash the wound of their sins,
and still others exhausted by life, to draw strength.
“At the moment of Your death on the Cross,
You bestowed upon us eternal life;
allowing Your most holy side to be opened,
You opened an inexhaustible spring of mercy for us,
giving us Your dearest possession,
the Blood and Water from Your Heart.
“Such is the omnipotence of Your mercy.
From it all grace flows to us.
“Be adored, O God, in the work of Your mercy,
Be blessed by all faithful hearts
On whom Your gaze rests,
In whom dwells Your immortal life.”