God is in Charge

06-13-2021Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Brian F. Manning

One of the best ways to get people to pay attention to you is to tell them a fascinating and intriguing story. A wonderful story captures the imagination and always contains more than what the story tells. We should realize that the stories of today's scripture at Mass demand our attention and reveal much to us, even though the stories retain some mystery or secrets about God.

The Gospel of Mark is all about stories and secrets. Today's Gospel passage is full of stories. Mark uses the parables of Jesus in his Gospel as camouflage for direct revelation about God. In his Gospel Mark is always telling more than he is saying. He reveals God's message in a cryptic way which requires you possess a key for understanding. His encryption key is basic faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. Only a small number of the followers of Jesus actually understood the key. Their faith allowed them to understand the various parables of Jesus.

Does not a parable of Jesus tell us that the reign of God is like a seed and what is needed from the sower is patience? This is because God alone causes the germination of the seed and finally its reaching harvesting? We must learn to trust what is sown and allow it to grow to bear fruit. Bearing fruit is a sign that God's kingdom is coming among us. Thus, we must have patience to have all these things happen.

In our second reading, which is from Saint Paul, the words tell us plainly that our faith requires us to trust in God and to see that there is far more to life than what simply meets the eye. Saint Paul directs our eyes to the "harvest" time and urges us to be watchful for its coming. And then finally to recognize that the "secret" to our existence is no more than to try to please God.

The parables of Jesus are stories that have survived the test of time. They invite all listeners through the millennia to be open to new ideas beyond their own life and personal experiences. We can learn from the story of the simple mustard seed hidden in the ground that the will of God is always being done. Like the tiny mustard seed ultimately becoming a mighty tree and home for the birds of the air, God's reign comes upon us with strength, slowly and consistently. The will of God cannot be stopped. In the end God's will triumphs.

Through many of the various parables, Jesus invites us to become a member of His mission to love. Last week on the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, we were invited to "share His Mission and Good News." We are to take the great Story of Jesus Christ and share it with other each day. This is our calling and our privilege.