Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Catholic Reflections 675 : Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year B - Sunday, 17 June 2018

Homily Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year B - Sunday, 17 June 2018

First Reading: Ezekiel 17:22-24
Psalm: Ps 91:2-3. 13-16. “
Lord it is good to give thanks to you.
Second Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10
Gospel Acclamation:
Gospel: Mark 4:26-34
Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year B - Sunday, 17 June 2018 by clicking this link here:   https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/sunday-11b-faith-hope-and-love-episode-100  (EPISODE: 100 )
I love the wonderful practicality of the prayers for this weekend’s liturgy…   the opening prayer,  or the “collect” as it is called,  gathers our many prayers and thoughts and distils them in these wonderful thoughts….”Grant us the help of your grace always… so that we may please you with our resolve and our DEEDS…”  in other words…   May your help and guidance Lord…lead us to pleasing attitudes and practical action.

The first reading this weekend and the Psalm refer to the image of the majestic and awe-inspiring sight of the towering cedar trees of Lebanon.  This was a familiar and powerful image representing God’s Kingdom… and the people of God….   It was a strong, powerful, impressive and providential image…… 

But then we move to the gospel…  Jesus asks himself…  ‘what image can I give you for the Kingdom of God?”   The people would have expected him to refer to the traditional image of the royal image of the strong, immovable cedar, that towers over everything else and can be seen far and wide.   …..   So, it’s more than a little surprising when Our Lord uses quite a different image…..   Christ tells us the Kingdom of God… starts out like a mustard seed….  A tiny, almost imperceptible seed…..    Almost inconsequential to the casual observer…..    and yet it grows up and becomes the largest……    (but again Our Lord, surprises his listeners….. – he doesn’t say… it grows to become the largest tree of all….  No… it becomes the largest SHRUB!!!   His point is both surprising and beautiful!   ….

Our Lord is telling us all…..   God’s Kingdom is not only to be seen in the obvious and towering grandeur of a mighty Cedar tree….   But God’s Kingdom is still sturdy and productive….  But it’s much more subtle and widespread…..    The Kingdom of God is more earthy and down-to-earth…  it is more sturdy and widespread……At times it can be patchy and certainly looking less “royal”  and “majestic” and more suburban….. It is more practical and “every day”  but it is better adapted to producing many fruits and for survival…..    But, just like the image of the cedar…  this large shrub, that has grown up from a surprisingly tiny mustard seed… still provides shelter and welcoming protection for all that gather under its leaves…..Again, not so high-class, but every bit as effective and much more involved in the lives of those around it. God’s Kingdom doesn’t tower loftily over everything else… its in-and-amongst everything and involved directly in its surroundings….     

This image is a good one which gives us hope and courage.   Our human efforts can be spasmodic and be varying in consistency, but God is constantly and quietly at work, in visible and invisible ways…… //We can help or hinder God’s work//… // cooperate in it or frustrate it,// but God keeps working and will succeed. No matter what setbacks or frustrations, God wills us to keep working away with God’s grace and our hopes will be rewarded.

Sometimes the smallest seeds of action for good, lead to the greatest transformations. We ought never to underestimate what God is working at in our lives….   For example, the extraordinary Rosa Parks, an African-American lady in 1955 during the time of segregation in the USA>  She sat on a bus seat at a time when the law insisted that African Americans had to vacate their seats for white people, irrespective of their age.   Rosa refused to move and was arrested.  This seed of resistance sparked a whole human rights spotlight that transformed that nation and inspired the world.  When I first heard the story of Rosa, I was moved by the wonderful integrity and bravery of this action which lead to enormous results. 

God is at work all the time in big and small ways and we, his disciples, are called to respond to what God is doing and jump in and cooperate with it. 

One final observation, it is good for us to keep in mind the purpose of the sowing of the seed and its harvesting… the seed is to produce fruits….   God’s word is a powerful seed that is planted and nurtured to produce fruits…  we must not fall into the trap that the Pharisees and scribes did in Christ’s day. They turned the seed of God’s word and Kingdom into an academic novelty and an exercise in endless rules and regulations. The Faith became almost a thing in itself, separated from its purpose to produce the fruits of God’s kingdom..  love, compassion, kindness, mercy and faithfulness…. And so much more… 

To use a rather bold image from an ancient writer….   “sheep do not ‘spit-up’ the grass they have to eat, in order to show the shepherd how much they have eaten. No, they digest the grass and process it and it turns into something tangible to produce wool and milk….”   

So, we too plant the seed of God’s word and nurture it by God’s word and sacrament and by constant prayer and thanksgiving to the Lord… and God’s grace sets to work in us to produce real and practical fruits for the building up of God’s kingdom…  never just for itself but for the greater glory of God and God’s Kingdom.  .

Fr Paul W. Kelly

Barclay, W. (1975). The Gospel of Mark. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press,  (Including a quote from the Greek Philosopher Epictetus)

Link, M. (2000). Mission. Praying Scripture in a Contemporary Way. Year B. Allen, Tex.: Resources for Christian Living.


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Further information relating to the audio productions linked to this Blog:
“Faith, Hope and Love,  A time of Christian worship and reflection”  - Led by Rev Paul W. Kelly
Texts used in this programme are for the purposes of worship and prayer for listeners wherever you are.
Prayers and chants are taken from the English Translation of the Roman Missal, edition three, © 2010, The International commission on English in the liturgy.
Scriptures are from the New Revised Standard Version: © 1989,  by the national council of Churches of Christ, USA. , //adaptations to conform with Catholic liturgical norms, © 2009, by the same.
 [{selected psalms } - ***Psalm verses are (also) taken from “The Psalms: A New Translation” ©1963, The Grail (England), published by Collins.. **]

Prayers of the Faithful are adapted from Robert Borg’s 1993 book “ Together we pray”. Published in Sydney Australia By  E.J. Dwyer. (out of print).

{ “Mass In Honour of St. Ralph Sherwin” -published 2011,  Composed and Sung by Jeffrey M. Ostrowski 
Featuring the….Gloria, The Creed, The Kyrie, The Mass parts, [[           - Psalms:  
http://www.ccwatershed.org/chabanel/  ]]] ] COPYRIGHT @ 2018 CORPUS CHRISTI WATERSHED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  www.ccwatershed.org/vatican/Ralph_Sherwin_Videos/  

“Faith, Hope and Love” theme Hymn:   Words, based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, set to original music © 1996 by Paul W. Kelly.

homily references: References:
Fr Paul W. Kelly

Barclay, W. (1975). The Gospel of Mark. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press,  (Including a quote from the Greek Philosopher Epictetus)

Link, M. (2000). Mission. Praying Scripture in a Contemporary Way. Year B. Allen, Tex.: Resources for Christian Living.

For more details please visit http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au/
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Production by Kelly Enterprises Resources. 

May God bless and keep you.

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year B
Sunday, 17 June 2018)

(EPISODE: 100 )

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Brothers and sisters, let us acknowledge our sins,
and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Lord Jesus, you raise us to new life: Lord, have mercy// //Lord Jesus, you forgive us our sins:Christ, have mercy//Lord Jesus, you feed us with your body and blood:Lord, have mercy//
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen.

Memorial Acclamation

We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.


Sundays Ordinary II

Eucharistic Prayer two

Communion side.  pwk: 
Go forth, the Mass is ended.

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