Saturday, June 13, 2015

June 14, 2015: 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time B

June 14, 2015: 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time B

Click to hear Audio Homily
Do any of you keep a daily journal? Most of us may be too busy to writing something daily in a notebook about our experiences, impressions, and thoughts, but there is a value in keeping a journal. When we look back over our journals, we will notice the imperceptible or hidden growth that is taking place in us.

Similarly, all around us we notice growth in the nature that is imperceptible. A few weeks ago outside the rectory, I noticed a sprout coming up from a shrub that I cut down a couple of months ago. Now that sprout has grown almost 2 feet tall.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus describes the kingdom of God as a seed that grows imperceptibly. The seed is planted into darkness, promising nothing. Yet from obscurity comes more than we suspect. The seed sprouts overnight without the farmer ever knowing how it grew. Many sugarcane farmers in our area know that they can water and fertilize the soil, but the growth of the cane is beyond their power. Two virtues that any farmer needs are patience and trust, because he depends on the divine providence for the harvest.

Jesus also likens the kingdom of God as a mustard seed--one of the smallest of seeds. The smallest of seed also can become large and tall enough to give shade and shelter, not only to birds, but even to a man riding a horse. Jesus illustrates that our lives can also become a caring shelter for others. The love of God grows like the mustard seed – it begins small with birth and with baptism. We grow in the plan of God, and then grows wide so that we share our love of God. It is the same with marriage – love begins and then grows so that children and grandchildren and others shelter in a couple’s love. Love grows when love is given, in our immediate circle, and in our care for the wider world. Good friendship and love spreads out to many. God's kingdom starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God's word, and it works unseen and causes a transformation from within.

This coming week, I will begin teaching a series of classes on a diary written by a woman named Helena Kowalska. To the eyes of the world, her beginning was like a small mustard seed. She was born to a poor farmer with a plot of land and two cows with eight hungry mouths to feed. She barely learned how to write with only three semesters of primary school. Jesus prompted her to enter a convent to begin a religious life as a nun. She was instructed by Jesus and her spiritual director to write down her experiences and thoughts in a journal. That journal became what we now know as the Diary of St. Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy. Her life and message from her simple diary has transformed many lives, including mine. Are we also receptive to the still, small promptings of Jesus who will cause a transformation in us?