THE SILENT HAND THAT GROWS US
Meditation for 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
(Ezekiel 17:22-24; 2 Cor 5:6-10; Mk 4:26-34)
Every genuine and fruitful growth occurs in SILENCE! We eat and take care of ourselves, but we not hear the bones stretching nor the flesh adding up; we look back and realize an enormous growth had occurred in silence but before our eyes. This silence does not necessary make growth ‘mysterious’ but makes it ‘beautiful’, ‘powerful’ and ‘necessary.’ Simply put: growth occurs, and we accept it!
In the first reading of today, Ezekiel announced that God was going to bring about a growth that is almost impossible for man to achieve. God would break off the topmost of the young twigs of the cedar and plant it upon a high and lofty mountain of Israel, “That it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit.” And under this cedar will dwell all kinds of beasts, birds of every sort will nest in its branches. “I the Lord bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish.” The silent hand of God brings about growth beyond human imagination.
This silent hand of God touches us through faith. St Paul in the second reading said that we walk by faith, not by sight. Faith brings growth and fruitfulness. The spiritual nourishment that faith supplies gives us courage even in our bodily life, so that we live to please the Lord and not to indulge the body. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.” Since God is the source of nourishment and growth, the fruit thus produced must be worthy of Him and presented before Him.
The reward is good or evil; heaven or hell. And the parable of Jesus today describes how the kingdom of God grows in us silently and in little things. It is like a little grain a man dropped on the ground, “And should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.” But once harvest is ready, he puts in the sickle…The kingdom of God is majorly the work of grace, which we are asked to cooperate with.
Again, Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed, which grows from the smallest seed to become the greatest of all shrubs, with large branches so that birds of the air can make their nests on it. So the words of the prophet Ezekiel is fulfilled in the words of Jesus. For we see in Jesus the rejected stone that became the cornerstone; the little seed cut from the little tribe of Bethlehem that became the biggest shrub of salvation on which all sorts of people will gather to grow their little ‘nests’ of salvation. It is on Christ Jesus that our lives are built and grow silently. His unseen and powerful hand silently holds us and grows us to bear fruit for eternal life. The Silent hand of God sustains us.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Ojo, Lagos.
Sunday June 13th, 2021.