Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time at Mississippi Abbey

Scripture Readings: Gen 3:9-15; 2 Cor 4:13-5:1; Mk 3:20-35

“So shall my word be…It shall not return to me empty, but shall do what pleases me, achieving that for which I sent it.”

And it is sent for each personality, with its sensitivities, talents, and most important, its mission. This we are to take on faith. We take it on faith because we “know not how it grows”. It seems to grow in each personality differently. It is the kingdom of God.

We let the seed, sown by the Incarnate God, grow in its own way and its own time and we do this in faith expressing itself in love, in other words in faithfulness. That is the chief reason why monastic life is an ordered way of life: it is way of being and showing faithfulness. It is in the faithfulness of our choices in our walk of life, in the use of our freedom, that we show our faith. Our faith is in our purpose in life or in “that for which I have sent it.”Here the parable gives us two groups to choose to affiliate or identify with because we are a community: The ‘In’ group, (or ‘inner self in last week’s reading) that struggles to understand and apply the story; or the ‘out’ group (outer self) that moves along nonchalantly, ‘fitting-in’ with one’s surroundings. So, like Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, we walk by what we believe in, not by what we see or, as Paul says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” And why? Because, Jesus adds, “We know not how it grows.” Such is faith. Such is being a Christian. We are, in this way of faith in the kingdom of God, very counter-cultural. The difference is in our source of power. We are free to be ‘for’ the eternal God rather than for what is temporal, currently cool and available to the senses.

Today we are reminded that, like the surprise of the mustard seed, the kingdom of God will and is the thing we truly seek. We are reminded that “unless a seed falls into the ground and dies…” and we respond with a very deep commitment. We would “rather leave the body and go home with the Lord. Therefore we aspire to please Him…”