YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (1) HOMILY THEME: “Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.’” (Mark 4:26-27)


YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

HOMILY THEME: “Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and
would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.’” (Mark 4:26-27)

BY: Fr. Robert deLeon, CSC

 

HOMILY:

Mark 4:26-34

Summertime—gardening time. Consider an article authored by David Mills that invites our reflection today. I share an excerpt with you: “We all have a vision of what we want, and we believe it will be good for everyone, whether or not they want it. [This] insight I take from the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. Modernity, he says in a book called Living on Borrowed Time, ‘was born under the sign of a new confidence: we can do it and (so) we will do it. We can remake the human condition into something better than it has been thus far.’

“Bauman supplies a very good image for this belief. He calls it the ‘gardening stance.’ He explains: ‘Armed with a vision of perfect harmony, gardeners set certain plants apart as weeds, as uninvited and unwelcome guests, destroyers of harmony, blots on the landscape. The implementation of a design, building the designed order, requires that weeds be uprooted and poisoned, so that useful and/or aesthetically pleasing plants may thrive and bloom, each on its own flowerbed or vegetable bed. When you’re making a garden, the destruction of weeds is an act of creation. It is the uprooting, poisoning, or burning of the weeds that transforms the wilderness into order and harmony.’

“You see the problem: The gardener loves his vision and knows he can make it real and everyone will love it—if only he can take out all the weeds. The weeds, they’re the enemy of the beautiful and the good. Yet they grow and they keep coming back. They act as if they have a better vision for his garden than he does. The rudeness. The impudence. The gardener begins to hate them with a perfect hatred.

“We have visions of perfection like the gardener’s. We see the weeds that keep our vision from being accomplished. We often know their names. Amazingly, they don’t even know they’re weeds. They act like flowers. Some, and this really shocks us, think they’re the gardener and try to take our place. For the sake of the beautiful garden that might be, the garden that everyone will love (everyone but the weeds), we must uproot these destroyers of harmony and blots on the landscape. Frustrated dreams easily tip into anger. Even friends can become weeds. Some good souls have not felt this, but they have almost certainly found themselves treated like weeds.

“God is the gardener and the vision is his. And he seems to enjoy the wildest profusion of flowers, the more the better. He considers none of us a weed.” ( aleteia.org/2017/03/08 ) In the gospel passage we hear today, “Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.’” (Mark 4:26-27) Indeed, it’s a divine kingdom we’re considering here, not one of human making. It’s about the Divine Gardener entrusting the tending of what he’s planted to us fallible human agents. “We have visions of perfection like the gardener’s. We see the weeds that keep our vision from being accomplished. We often know their names. Even friends can become weeds. [Yet] God is the gardener and the vision is his. And he seems to enjoy the wildest profusion of flowers, the more the better. He considers none of us a weed.”

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