The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home
June 13, 2021 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Mark 4:26-34
Download this simple process to Prepare for Sunday using the Observe, Judge, Act Method.
Scientists these days are carefully rewinding the clock concerning the history of our home, planet Earth. The story begins with its initial formation over four billion years ago. Hidden in that long passage of time is a major breakthrough when non-living matter transformed itself into matter that was alive. It could reproduce itself and grow through complex processes of nourishment that turns something inert and lifeless into something that starts from a small seed and develop into something magnificent. Because we arrived here well after life began on Earth, we might assume it was always that way. Of course, we now know that it wasn’t.
And we also know that life is not necessarily permanent. It can cease to be, or be compromised by various disasters, some of which we humans create. As Pope Francis never tires of reminding us, life is fragile and requires our attention and care. In all its forms.
Jesus was acutely aware of this mystery of life and used it to help us understand how God’s dealing with us unfolds in God’s world. He did this by drawing comparisons between the world of living things and the connection between God and us.
In this part of Mark’s gospel we are invited to notice the growth of seeds into sustaining food. This process can begin almost unnoticed, involving very small seeds. To me this means that God can be communicating with us, and supporting us, in way we might hardly notice. Something small does not mean it is insignificant. In fact, it may be the opposite:
God’s ways with each of us may seem very small and thus, overlooked. Therefore, pay attention to every part of your daily life. Even the small stuff. A good word from a passer-by, a smile from a small child, a friendly nod from a neighbor, a momentary reminder that we are loved by God.
Further, because the life of a plant (the gospel’s example) is continuous, these nurturing moments of our life with God could come at any time. God’s connecting with us is constant, but we are not always conscious of this miracle of life (in fact, most of us rarely are). So, we need reminders, a nudge to pay attention, be alert, or quiet the noise in or day to hear the whispered “word of God” that may be coming our way.
©David M. Thomas, PhD