Sunday, 14 June 2015

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Mk 4:26-34; 2 Cor 5:6-10
At the 9am Mass we just celebrated our First Holy Communion Mass, with ten children making their FHC this year.
As I was looking at the readings for today, and also thinking about the FHCs, a similarity occurred to me:
Our readings speak about things we don’t see, but nonetheless know to be true, know to be true because God has said so.
Holy Communion is likewise a reality we only know because God has said so.

In the Gospel we heard the Lord Jesus speak about how the Kingdom of God is like a seed that grows unseen in the soil. It is growing under the ground long before its springs forth its first shoot, long before the farmer sees it. In the same way, the Lord is at work in many things in our lives even we cannot see Him.
How do we KNOW that He is at work, and not just abandoning us?
Because He has said so.
The Lord speaks repeatedly of how He watches over us. I saw a flock of birds recently, and thought of the Lord’s words, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”(Mt 6:26)

In our second reading we heard St Paul; speak about how, in this life on earth, we live “exiled from the Lord”(2 Cor 5:6). He then adds, almost casually, a hugely important point: “we walk by faith and not by sight”(2 Cor 5:7).
To walk by faith rather than by sight means that we do not SEE where we are going. And yet, St Paul says repeatedly in this passage that we should walk “full of confidence”(2 Cor 5:6).
How can we have confidence if we do not see?
Because we have the words of the Lord, the promises of the Lord.
And these promises enable me to keep pressing onwards, trusting that He is by my side, trusting that He is guiding me, trusting that He is strengthening me.

Let me turn again to Holy Communion.
Holy Communion is definitely not something known by “sight”.
It is known by “faith”, by which is mean, known by believing the words Jesus said about it: “This is my Body, This is my Blood”.
By “sight” it looks like just bread, and tastes like just bread.
But the Lord has said otherwise, empathically.
And like the seed growing unseen, Holy Communion is not seen. But it is real, just like the unseen growing seed under ground is real.

So, to sum up today’s simple point:
God works in many unseen ways, but He works truly.
He has told us this is how He works.
And, even if He WANTED to show us how He works we would be able to grasp it because, as he Himself said, “My ways are not your ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts”(Isa 55:8-9).
But thoughts He has, and ways He has, and He works even when we do not see it.

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