31 Jan 2020; Reign of God

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Friday; Third Week of Ordinary Time

Readings: 2 Sam 11: 1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17;Mk 4: 26-34.

Today’s readings challenge us to look at our own lives to see where we are in GOD’s sight and contemplate the mystery of GOD’s Goodness. Once again, we return to the story of King David, in our First Reading today. Yesterday, we read about David humbly praising and thanking GOD for GOD’s great kindness in blessing the Davidic dynasty. We focused on the virtuous cycle. Today we will see a vicious cycle – a cycle of vice. David is revealed as a sinner who commits two of the biggest sins: adultery and murder.

One thing that strikes me is how one sin leads to another. David’s lust leads to adultery. His adultery leads to lies. His lies lead to perversion of power. His perversion of power leads to murder. And yet, that is true in our own life of sin. Once we get off the path of following GOD, of having GOD as the target of our lives, we seem to go farther and farther away.

The Gospel gives us a few parables that help us understand the Reign of GOD. The first parable compares the Reign of GOD to a farmer planting seeds which grow and produce a harvest. We hear that the farmer does not fully understand how the growth comes, but the seeds produces grain for the harvest. We also do not understand how GOD’s compassion and love work. We do not fully grasp the workings of GOD. We may look at our own lives and try to see GOD’s hand at work. As we do so, we may not fully understand why GOD has touched our lives in the way GOD has, but we can see the growth. We may have not fully arrived at the point of GOD’s harvest yet. As long as we walk this earth, we are still a work in progress. GOD’s graciousness, however, can be seen as we look at where we have been, where we are now, and where we our headed. It does not mean that there will not be times when we fail to grow, when we “miss the mark,” that we sin; but the Reign of GOD in our lives will give us growth, if we but allow GOD to work in our lives.

The second parable is the image of the mustard seed giving growth to a shrub which gives a place for the birds to nest. GOD has planted the seed within us and He can produce mighty growth from the small seed which has been planted.

The thoughts that come to me as I reflect on today’s readings are the magnificence of GOD and GOD’s plan for our growth, even though we sometimes fall from GOD’s grace. GOD still loves us and wants us to grow into strong, healthy products of GOD’s love, even though we sometimes “miss the mark” and sin. It is mind-blowing to think of GOD’s compassion and mercy, which can accept a sinner’s cry for forgiveness and give new growth and life to a person who was willing to destroy the life he/she had with GOD, the relationship with GOD.

The personal question/action for today: Can I see how one sin has led to another in my own life? How have I experienced GOD’s growth in my life? Have the stormy times of my life allowed me to have new and stronger growth? What can I do to help others as they experience trying times in their lives?

May you continue to allow GOD to produce growth in your life and the lives of others.

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