11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Do we always understand how things happen? 

No, and we don’t have to.  In today’s gospel, “Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow and he knows not how.” 

The farmer does not need to know every scientific detail of how the seed grows for it to bear fruit.  The farmer needs to know to plant it in the ground.  It will bear more fruit if the farmer knows to water and fertilizer it.  But it will grow regardless of any additional knowledge the farmer has.  It is good for the farmer to know this knowledge but the growth of the seed is not dependent on the farmer’s knowledge.

So it is with the Kingdom of God.  We need to know God exists.  Of course, his goodness is not dependent on our knowledge of him but if we know of God, if we know that Jesus died for us on the Cross, then we are more likely to open ourselves to the graces that God offers us.  We would not seek a place in the Kingdom if we did not know it existed.  Yet, we cannot save ourselves.  It is Jesus who saves us. 

We are not going to understand everything about our faith.  There are mysteries like the Trinity and the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus.  We may not understand but we can believe.  We believe in faith based on what God has revealed to us.

In our first reading from Ezekiel, the Lord God tells us that He will take a tender shoot from the cedar and plant it.  He tells us that it will grow and become a majestic cedar that everyone can dwell under.  God does not provide an explanation for how He will do this.  He promises, “As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.”  His promise is enough for us to believe.  So it is with the Kingdom of God.

God has planted his goodness within us.  Jesus speaks of the mustard seed that “is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.  But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”  In that seed is all that the seed will become. 

So it is with us.  In our humanity, we have everything that we need to be human at the moment of our conception.  From the moment of our conception we are alive.  We are human.

Spiritually, God plants a seed within us.  We are created to spend entirety with God.  Paul writes, “and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.  Therefore, we aspire to please him.”  Do you agree with Paul?  Would you rather be with the Lord than spend eternity here?

There are people today who think everyone gets into Heaven.  There should be no doubt of God’s mercy.  God wants everyone to get into Heaven but does everyone get into Heaven?

This should lead us to ask the question, where does it say in the Bible that everyone gets into Heaven. 

While God desires for everyone to be in Heaven, I know of nowhere in the Bible that it says everyone does.  Paul writes, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.”  Do you strive to live as the Lord teaches us? 

Today’s gospel ends, “Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.” 

This would indicate that Jesus did not explain things to everyone, only to “his own disciples.”  Doesn’t this mean that not everyone who hears what Jesus says are his disciples? 

Are you a disciple of Jesus?


Fr. Jeff

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