Reflections for Sunday, June 17, 2012
Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion
(Mark 4;26-34; Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 92:2-3,13-16 2; Corinthians 5:6-10; Mark 4:26-34)
Trusting in the Lord’s Work in Our Lives
“The seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” (Mark 4:27)
When you were a child, you may have been given a model for a present—perhaps a model airplane or boat. Can you remember looking at the picture on the box and getting excited to see that model in its finished state? However, you found that if you didn’t follow the directions and assemble the pieces in the right order, your model didn’t come out quite right.
This is a useful analogy for thinking about Jesus’ parables of the kingdom of God. It’s more exciting to think about the “finished product,” isn’t it? We look at people like Mother Teresa and John Paul II, and marvel. They were living models of the life Jesus portrayed in his parables—the full grain of wheat ripe and mature and ready for the harvest. Still, as inspiring as they are, we need to understand that they didn’t become such beautiful models of the kingdom overnight. No one does.
Holiness happens one step at a time, not all at once—and we are not fully in charge of the process. It is God who molds, shapes, and glues all the pieces of our lives, making us into living examples of a life lived in his love and power. And even more amazing, it is God who supplies us with the desire and the ability to fulfill his purposes. Our part is simply to follow God’s directions, step by step, and not worry about the end result.
If you think the Lord is calling you in a certain direction, go there—even if you can’t see how it contributes to the final product. If you’re trying your best and nothing’s working out, be patient. God is still at work, bringing his plan to completion. Let go of any stress, anxiety, and fear you may feel, and allow yourself to smile. For God, the Master Builder, is working everything together for your good!
“Lord, today I’m going to let you be in charge. I trust that you are at work in me, building me and shaping me in ways I can’t even imagine!”
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men
- The first reading ends with these words: “Every tree of the field will know that I am the LORD. I bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, Wither up the green tree, and make the dry tree bloom. As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do!” What do you think these verses mean? How do they apply to how we are to live our lives? How are you doing?
- The Responsorial Psalm begins with these words: “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praise to your name, Most High, to proclaim your kindness at dawn, and your faithfulness throughout the night.” How would you describe the “kindness” and “faithfulness” of the Lord in your life? How often do you “give thanks” and “sing praise” to the Lord for this kindness and faithfulness? How can you increase this time?
- The second reading contains the very familiar verse: “we walk by faith, not by sight.” In what areas of your life do you tend to walk by sight, not by faith? What steps can you take to change this?
- The Gospel reading presents two parables about the Kingdom of God. Unlike the early disciples, we do not have the Lord with us in person to “explain everything in private (Mark 4:34).” However, we do have the Holy Spirit and Jesus told us that “he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16;13). How would you describe the meaning of these parables?
- In the meditation, we hear these words: “Holiness happens one step at a time, not all at once—and we are not fully in charge of the process. It is God who molds, shapes, and glues all the pieces of our lives, making us into living examples of a life lived in his love and power.” How would you describe the way God is working in your life to help you grow in holiness?
- Take some time now to pray for a greater openness to the Lord’s work in your life and the grace to continue to grow in holiness. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.