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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Reflection/Homily: Eleventh (11th) Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B (June 17 2012)

Theme: Your Kingdom Come

You can find the readings and prayers here

St. Augustine in his book ‘‘The city of God’’ said that though we are all citizens of a physical city, the State, we are also either citizens of the city of God or citizens of the city of man. The citizens of the city of God are those who do the will of God and the citizens of the city of man are those who live according to the standard of the world.

Jesus in teaching his Apostles how to pray taught them to pray for the coming of the kingdom of God. This kingdom of God is not a physical entity like the city of God but the reign of the will of God. In other words, St. Augustine’s ‘‘city of God’’ refers to the reign of the will of God, in the kingdom of God here on earth.

Today, the church is regarded as the kingdom of God established on earth, a place where the will of God is done. This church is actually the mystical body of Christ who is God and the head of the church.

In the first reading (Ezekiel 17:22-24), God promised to plant a cedar on a very high mountain, which will grow into a big tree with big branches and fruits. Every kind of bird and winged creature will rest in the shade of its branches.

In the gospel reading (Mk 4:26-34), Jesus talks about the fulfillment of this promise in his parable of the kingdom of God. In his analogy, the seed was sown in the ground and it sprouted and grew effortlessly. He also likened the kingdom of God to a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds but which grows into the biggest of all trees.

Beloved friends, today, we reflect on the church as this kingdom of God, the seed that was sown by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit. The Second Vatican Council described the Church as “the seed” of the kingdom (LG 5). It is this Church that we all are members of as citizens of the kingdom of God who try to do the will of God every day.
Every kingdom is guided by rules and principles. As our earthly kingdom is guided by the laws of the state so is the Church as the kingdom of God on earth guided by laws both Divine and ecclesiastical.

This poses a very important question to us. Have you been able to keep to the laws of the Church which comprises the commandments and ordinances of God? As we talk of the Church as the kingdom of God, do you know you also carry it in your your body? How have you been able to treat your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.

For this reason, the second reading (2 Cor 5:6-10) urges us to be exiled from the body and make our home with the lord. This is because when we live in the body, we are exiled from the lord. To be exiled from the body does not mean to condemn anything material but to live not according to the demands of the flesh but according to the demands of the Holy Spirit. We ought to do only those things that please God because on the last day, we shall be judged.

Fellow citizens of the kingdom of God, the kingdom of God draws closer to us each time we do the will of God. The will of God is revealed in the Word of God which is the seed of the kingdom of God planted in us. Allow this seed to grow and bear fruit in you. We only need to accept the seed and as the Gospel says, it will sprout and grow without our knowledge.

Therefore, as we enter a new week today, may God through the intercession of our Lady and the Saints bless you. May you prosper in all you do and may the Lord grant increase to your blessings even without your knowledge so that you will be encouraged to be better citizens of the kingdom of God. Then you will join the psalmist to say ‘‘Lord it is good to give thanks to you. God loves you.

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