Engaging the Gospel – Mark 4:26-34

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B): Gospel – Mark 4:26-34

Drawing upon agricultural imagery for His parables, Jesus describes the growth of the Kingdom of God.

On the larger level, this refers to the Church “because it is in her that the Kingdom of heaven, the Reign of God, already exists and will be fulfilled at the end of time.”

But at the same time, this refers to each and every one of us: our lives are to mirror the mustard seed.

“The kingdom has come in the person of Christ and grows mysteriously in the hearts of those incorporated into Him” (Catechism 865).

Benedict XVI explores what the “Kingdom of God” means in Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 1. Both the Greek word for kingdom (basileia), and the underlying Hebrew (malkut), are “action” words, referring to the dynamic quality of reigning.

“‘Kingdom of God’ is therefore an inadequate translation. It would be better to speak of God’s being-Lord, of His lordship” (pp. 55-56). Jesus is “the Kingdom in person,” for “He is God’s presence” (p. 49).

But He comes in “lowliness and hiddeness.” He “rules in a divine way, without worldly power, rules through the love that reaches to the end, to the Cross” (p. 61). He advances His Kingdom by attracting us through His love. If we accept God’s lordship, His Kingdom is within us, and “it grows and radiates outward from that inner space” (p. 50).

Question for reflection: What signs do I see of my own spiritual growth over time?