Friday in the Third Week of Ordinary Time

Scripture Readings: 2 Sam 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17; Mk 4:26-34

I used to teach Lifespan Developmental Psychology at a small college in Bellevue Neb. The Kingdom of God grows much like the human being does. The human being is where the Kingdom grows!

The man plants the seed in an act that pursues the good of the other, trusting that his own good is assured. It’s called “making love.”  A child is born and apparently grows “they know not how” as they often say, “What’s gotten into that kid?!” Yet the child bears fruit. Made in the image of love, she or he grows in usefulness to others. The child grows in pursuing the good of others and this assures the child’s own good. The Kingdom of God develops as the person develops…unless…

…Unless the selfishness and self-centeredness of fallen nature predominates. But there is a way to avoid or correct this.

Henry Ford once made a wise remark to the effect that experience is the thing of supreme value in life. That is true only if one is willing to turn the past to good account. We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors and convert them into assets. 


Friday in the Third Week of Ordinary Time

[Scripture Readings: 2 Sam 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17; Mk 4:26-34]

“The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that springs up to become the largest of plants.” Why didn't Jesus compare the kingdom to a tiny acorn that grows into a towering oak tree? That would be far more impressive than a mustard plant. Even worse, mustard seeds were notorious for the way they spring up and spread out like a noxious weed. The secret to good gardening was this: “Keep the mustard seeds out!”

Mustard Plant
So, why is Jesus making this infamous comparison? Because the kingdom of God really is like a mustard seed that springs up and overruns the whole garden. Sometimes it even looks more like a weed than a beautiful tree, composed as it is of former tax collectors and prostitutes, lepers and adulterers, social outcasts and murderers, thieves and Pharisees. Saul of Tarsus tried to stop it from spreading but it overtook him. A pagan, Minucius Felix, described followers of the Way as “an impious conspiracy” multiplying all over the world “just like a rank growth of weeds.” But then he also was converted and became an early Christian apologist. Even King David with all his sins finds merciful shade in these branches.

What an encouragement for you and me! Sinners that we are, we fit in very well with all those birds, with everyone who seeks and finds merciful shade in the branches of this wonderful plant that is spreading love and divinity throughout the whole world.