Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 17, 2018 – Year B
Readings: Ez 17:22-24 / Ps 92 / 2 Cor 5:6-10 / Mk 4:26-34
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Not too long ago, I visited a former parishioner in a rehabilitation center/nursing home in Virginia Beach. On my way to his room, his youngest son met me in the hallway to thank me personally for the spiritual support I’ve given his dad and for being a personal friend of the family. I’ve met the son a few times in the past and have often congratulated his parents for raising a very fine Catholic gentleman. This young man is not only a very successful architect in Boston, but he and his whole family are all very active in Church ministry.
While the son was telling me all those words of wisdom he’d learned from his dad about God and the Church when he was growing up, we were within hearing distance of his father’s room. When I finally got to talk to his father, he told me with a smile on his face that, when his son was a young boy and a teenager, he didn’t think his son was listening to him at all, especially when he talked to him about God’s Word. In fact, there were times when he thought his son might not amount to anything. But he was glad that, just like any father, he didn’t give up on his son.
God’s Word in the gospel today reminds us that planting the seed of faith is never time wasted, even if sometimes we feel that what we are doing is just an exercise in futility. As Jesus said, “This is how it is with the Kingdom of God. A man scatters seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord, the land yields fruit.”
If we don’t even notice the physical growth of the children around us, we are unlikely to notice their spiritual growth. Many of our altar servers here at Holy Name of Mary, for instance, used to be little boys and little girls. Before I realize it, they’re all taller than I.
But the fact that they are here in the church is great news. It means that they are growing spiritually, and the Holy Spirit is working in them. If every once in a while we ask ourselves if we are getting closer to God as we advance in years, we should not let our hearts be troubled. The fact that we are asking this type of question is a manifestation of the fact that we are growing in faith.
As St. Paul said in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, which we heard in the second reading, we walk by faith and not by sight. In this world, we will always experience some form of darkness. But if we continue to walk with the Lord Jesus, we will be fine, because He is the Light of the World. He is the Sun that never sets.