YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE ELEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: LIFE AND FRUITFULLNESS ARE THE WORK OF GOD’S HAND
BY: Fr. Cosmas Ukadike CM
Jesus’ parable of the seed as presented to us in today’s gospel reflects the power of God in the events of life and life itself (Mark 24, 26-34). Yes the Sower goes out to scatter seeds and no matter how careful he does the planting, it does not guarantee that the seed will germinate. Better still; it is not the effort of the Sower that causes the seed to germinate and bear fruits. He does not know how the germinating and fruiting takes place (Mk 24, 27).
Yes he may have manured the soil and have strictly followed the rules of planting but, how it germinates and bears fruits are not his efforts. Certainly there have been records of seeds carefully planted and properly watered, but which refused to germinate. There are also numerous seeds that sprout on their own in the bushes and forests with no care at all and they still bore fruits in abundance. This surely is indicative that what happens to the seed after planting is solely the responsibility of the maker- God. The seed we refer to today is humankind.
St Paul made this emphasis when he addressed the people of Corinth saying: “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1Cor 3, 6). It’s God all the way who is responsible for our being and still keeps sustaining us in being. This same fact is confirmed today in the first reading as we hear from the Prophecy of Eziekel that it’s God who plants and makes fruitful (Ezk 17, 22-24).
And the fruitfulness which God truly desires of us is to play the role of the mustard seed, not just that it grew from the smallest of all seeds into becoming the greatest of all shrubs, but also that it now puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade (Mk 24,32). That is to say; our fruitfulness is to positively affect the lives of our brothers and sisters. Yes! All those who come in contact with us should feel some form of solace and peace that they have encountered a Christian; Christ- like personality.
We are called to be receptive and accommodating. We are meant to bring joy and not sadness to people we meet. We are to be a refuge and strength to our suffering generation. Our fruitfulness is therefore, to restore hope to the hopeless.
May we continue to see the hand of God in the events of life and rely on his power to make us bear fruits, fruits that will last. Have a blessed week.
Fr. Cosmas Ukadike, C.M.