Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time – 16 June 2024

I feel sorry for my sister who recently lost five dogs to distemper. She did her best to keep them as comfortable as possible. She told all of them to go and have rest if they already feel tired. She never gave up on them. “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away,” according to Job.

The Lord said in the book of the prophet Ezekiel, “I, the Lord, bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom.” Everything depends on God for life and sustenance. God used the image of a tender shoot that grew into a mighty cedar to describe the restoration of the exiled Israelites. This happened because God said He would do it. And it did not happen overnight. The Israelites went through a lot first. But God was with them all throughout their journey. Our life’s journey can be long and winding too. We have to trust in God, have faith in Him. He has our best interests at heart.

St Paul sought to encourage the Corinthians, inspiring them amidst challenges to be courageous. “We walk by faith, and not by sight.” Our senses, sometimes, may fail us. Life can be hard and tough. We cannot be sure of what the future holds. We have to believe that God always has better plans for us. It is very tempting to choose the easy way, to do short cuts to get ahead faster. But if we persevere to remain in Christ, we are assured of His reward.

The Gospel affirms the themes of the first and second reading. “The seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” It is God’s doing. God wants to do it. Everything depends on Him. Faith is such a beautiful thing. It is a tiny seed that can grow into the largest of plants. A friend of mine, who is a doctor, once said to me, “I can’t imagine life without faith.” One may immediately say, of course, he is a doctor, he must be living a good and comfortable life. Ironically, he has his own share of life’s struggles, even more serious ones. I believe, it is genuine faith that sees through things and experiences. He, indeed, walks by faith and not by sight.

Jesus used parables and to His own disciples, he explained everything in private. We sometimes struggle with our understanding of the faith. The faith is definitely there, God planted the seeds in our hearts. But understanding faith entails reading the scriptures, listening to the teachings of Christ, prayer and communion with Him. This faith is so beautiful, such that, one cannot help but practice it.


Fr Gilbert

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