Catholic homily for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Theme: The growth of the Kingdom of God
By: Fr. Anthony Kadavil
Chaplain, Sacred Heart Home, Mobile, AL
Homily for Sunday June 13 2021
Today’s readings focus our attention on the birth and growth of the reign or rule of God (Kingdom of God), in our human lives and on the gigantic growth of the Church from very humble beginnings. Both growths are slow and mysterious, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The first reading, taken from Ez 17:22-24, is a Messianic prophecy. Ezekiel tells us how the Lord God of Israel will allow a descendant of King David to become the Messiah and Savior of the world. In contrast with the parable of the tiny mustard seed in today’s Gospel, Ezekiel sees the Messiah originating in a royal family (lofty Cedar, David).
In today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 92), the Psalmist sings of Jesus, “The Just One shall flourish like the palm tree, like a Cedar of Lebanon shall He grow.”
In the second reading, St. Paul teaches the Corinthian Christians that they are to advance the growth of God’s Kingdom and His rule in their lives by doing His will so that they may be amply rewarded in the final judgment.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus compares the growth of the Kingdom of God to the germination of a wheat seed and that of a tiny mustard seed. Both have exceedingly small beginnings. The wheat seeds, by gradual but steady growth, help the farmer to get a bumper crop. In the same way, the life principle in a tiny mustard seed enables it to grow into a large bush. The reign of God in human hearts and the growth of the Church in the world also have small beginnings. But the Source of all life, God the Holy Spirit, gives to both a steady, persistent, and gigantic growth, provided we, the members of the Church, cooperate with God’s grace.
Life messages: 1) We need to cooperate in the growth of God’s Kingdom: The Kingdom of God is the growth of God’s rule in human hearts that occurs when man does the will of God and surrenders his life to God. The seed of Faith lies dormant within each of us. When we permit the Holy Spirit to nurture it with TLC (tender loving care), it grows miraculously to gigantic proportions. The growth is slow and microscopic in the beginning. But the seed grows by using the power of the Holy Spirit, given to us through the Word of God, the Mass, the Sacraments and prayer. As we learn God’s will from His words and try to put these words into practice, we participate in the growth of God’s Kingdom on earth, a growth which will be completed in our Heavenly life. But since we need the special anointing of the Holy Spirit to be doers of the Word of God, let us offer our lives before God every day, asking for this special anointing.
2) We need to avoid getting discouraged: Since the acceptance God’s rule by human beings is a terribly slow process, there is the danger of discouragement and hopelessness among preachers, evangelizers, and believers. The conviction that growth of the Kingdom of God is the work of the Holy Spirit and needs our humble cooperation should make us optimistic in continuing our work of witnessing. We should continue sowing tiny seeds in the form of words of love, acts of encouragement, deeds of charity, mercy and forgiveness.