(Part 27)




February 1, 2013

Today’s gospel: Mark 4:26-34



Jesus’ description of the kingdom of God points us to the mystery of evangelization. People are evangelized and renewed purely by God’s grace. With God at work, when the seed is planted, “of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.” (Mk 4:28). How it all happens, man “knows not how.” (Mk 4:27b).

But God also gives man a role in this mystery. We are tasked to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus, “as if a man were to scatter seed on the land” (Mk 4:26b). We sow the seed. Then we help nurture what has been planted. Some water, some fertilize, some weed, some drive pests away. As such, we “would sleep and rise night and day and the seed would sprout and grow” (Mk 4:27a). Then we all together walk along the path of holiness, to be more and more like Jesus. Then, at the end of time, Jesus will return for the final judgment. “And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.” (Mk 4:29).


The other mystery is that the kingdom of God starts small but grows very big. “It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches” (Mk 4:31-32a). Christianity started as a small sect of Judaism, but now counts one-third of the world’s population as adherents. New ecclesial movements grow in the same way, from a handful to thousands and even millions of members.

So in mounting our programs for evangelization, we may bring in big or small numbers. It does not really matter. If the seed is planted on good soil, it will bear fruit. Sowing will result in reaping.

Our part is simply to be faithful to God’s call, and to continue sowing the seed.


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