June 18, 2006 - Year B - Pentecost 2

Mark 4:26-34

The seed growing by itself

 26 Jesus also said, “In the kingdom of God it is like this. A man scatters seed upon the soil. 27 Whether he is asleep or awake, be it day or night, the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how. 28 The soil produces of itself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 And when it is ripe for harvesting they take the sickle for the cutting: the time for harvest has come.”

The mustard seed

(Mt 13:31; Lk 13:18)

 30 Jesus also said, “What is the kingdom of God like? To what shall we compare it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when sown, is the smallest of all the seeds scattered upon the soil. 32 But once sown, it grows up and becomes the largest of the plants in the garden and even grows branches so big that the birds of the air can take shelter in its shade.”

33 Jesus used many such stories or parables, to proclaim the word to them in a way they would be able to understand. 34 He would not teach them without parables; but privately to his disciples he explained everything.

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Notes from [The Community Christian Bible

• 26. In every period of time, people become impatient. When will the kingdom of justice be realized? Will violence and corruption soon come to an end? Jesus answers: invisible forces are already at work; the world matures and the Kingdom grows on.


How many seeds are cast to the wind? A new style, a new song, a new device, a radio program. Some seeds have grown and taken root, producing fruits that mobilize people. Let us recognize the humble beginnings of the work of God: good willed people meeting together to solve a community problem; a gesture of kindness in a closed, unfriendly environment; a first attempt to smile at life after a great disappointment. The seed grows, and the person who has welcomed the word walks more confidently on the path where God leads.

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Comments by Wesley

1. What is the presence of G*D like? Well, we poke here, we prod there, trying to shake loose a koan that will, in turn, shake us loose from our fears keeping us bound to the last experience of G*D we had. In one way, and another, we look to issues of maturation in and extravagant and steadfast love.

2. Here we get an image of an internal and natural maturation that cannot be seen in the moment, but can be recognized in light of the growth patterns of generations past and identifiable stages in the present recapitulation of creation extended.

3. Here we get an image of an external and natural effect that is quite measurable in the present - how those who need shelter of one kind and another actually receive it? With these two criteria we have a way to explain who we are and why we do what we do - to grow in holiness.

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