June 12-13, 2021 Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
The written notes from Fr. Dennis’ Sunday homily. This homily is meant to be heard and not read.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
Jesus used simple images to teach us about God, our loving father. The image of the seed or a shoot of a plant has the power to awaken our religious imaginations so that we are able to understand the very depths of the mystery of God working in our lives. God has planted the seed of faith within each one of us.
Today’s gospel reading uses the image of the seed to help us understand the Kingdom of God. Jesus gives two parables to illustrate the Kingdom of God. The first is a parable about seed that is scattered on the land by a man. Remember Johnny Appleseed as a child? As he goes about his life the seeds sown sprout and grow, but he has no idea how this happens. Just to see a field of crops rise-up in the summer is amazing. We pray for all our farmers who care for earth and feed the world.
This is the way it is with the Kingdom of God. God’s word is heard throughout the world, it takes root in our hearts, grows and spreads. We do not know how this happens because this is God’s grace at work in our lives. God our father has planted the seed of faith in our hearts, souls, and mind. We need to nurture that seed, or it dies.
Today’s first reading from Ezekiel also uses such images to teach us about faith and God. The prophet Ezekiel uses the shoot of a tree to teach about God’s faithfulness to His people and the love He had for them. Ezekiel lived approximately six hundred years before the birth of Jesus. During his time the Jewish people were forced to live in exile in Babylon as slaves.
Ezekiel reminded his people that God would raise up the lowly trees and bring down the mighty ones. The Jewish people knew what Ezekiel meant. This meant that God would fulfill His promise, and raise them up, free them, and save them.
The second parable is that of the tiny mustard seed. The Kingdom of God is like this tiny seed. God plants in each of us many tiny seeds of goodness that we are to bring to fruit by our good works and loving care for others. God our Father nurtures us and helps our seeds grow with His word and Sacrament. The fruit that these seeds produce, through our efforts and God’s grace, are lives brought to salvation. And this is how God’s Kingdom on earth continues to take root in the world and our lives.