ELEVENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR OF MARK
17th June 2018
Change is part of the world in which we live, whether we like it or not. We can be in dread of it, as the author H.F. Lyte lamented: “Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.” By contrast, Blessed John Henry Newman is reputed to have said: “To live is to change. To become perfect is to have changed often.” The One “who changest not” may be a rock of security in this turbulent world, but the same One is also the creator of it. Creation is not static. It is organic, dynamic, living and growing. Even the silent solid rock from which our mountains are fashioned has evolved, albeit very slowly, over millions of years. Change and decay are integral to the process of growth. In God we live and move and have our being (Acts 17).
For those who set the Creator against creation, or heaven in opposition to earth, the mysterious “kingdom of God” (of which Jesus speaks so much) is an embarrassing stumbling block. It would be easy to equate it simply with the Church, or heaven, or the realm of God. Jesus is more subtle. Instead of providing us with a neat definition or formula, he paints a picture, layer by layer, in a series of memorable parables – “the kingdom of God is like….” Today’s images from Mark 4 are all about living and growing. The kingdom has a hidden life of its own, of which we are at first unaware. What are the signs that bring it to our notice? How can it become so big, from such a tiny seed?
So, who or what is this kingdom Jesus is so passionate about?
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