Cracking Parables: God’s Handiworks
Sunday reflection, 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
When something is beyond understanding, we often use simple and common images to illustrate it. To describe what is strange we use things that are familiar. But still, certain realities are beyond words.
You search in vain for an image to describe the feeling of falling in love or the picture for the wisdom of God in creating counterparts in universe. God arranged the works of his fingers, the smallest creatures with the great ones; stars and sky facing the earth; stones in masses of water; males living with females.
The year was B.C. 593. King Zedekiah organized a treacherous project with the king of Egypt in order to destroy the king of Babylon. In doing so, the royal family of Zedekiah broke the covenant with God and endangers God’s promise of everlasting kingdom to the house of David. Using the parable of the vine and the two eagles, Ezekiel announced the fall of the royal family. (Cf. Ezekiel 17:1-10)
God is ever faithful. He threatened the ruin of the royal family of Zedekiah; but he would raise it again in another seed of David. On the high mountain, God can miraculously make cedar grow from a small shoot; he can make it bear fruit, and turn it into a noble cedar for the need of every other creature. This God of ours can bring low the high tree and make high the low tree; he dries up the green tree and makes the dry tree flourish. The Lord is faithful in his handiworks. (Cf. Ezekiel 17:22-24)
What God deserves from his people is a life that is pleasing in his sight. One day, we shall appear before the judgment seat of Christ to receive recompense for what was done here on earth in the body, whether good or evil. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:6-10) Though the evildoers may flourish, the wicked are doomed to destruction forever. The day is coming when the righteous will flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar planted by the Lord on a high mountain. Growing old, they still bear fruit; they are always green and full of sap for in God there is no wrong. (Cf. Psalms 92)
The disciples experience the difficult beginning in the ministry of their master. They may foresee little progress because of the obstacles found in their paths. Jesus tells his followers stories about things that they experience everyday to free them from their ‘it won’t work’ syndrome. The Kingdom of God is beyond human understanding.
Words cannot describe the Kingdom of God for human knowledge; it is a mystery. To talk about it, Jesus uses parables to show the wonderful works of God pictured in human experiences. The deeds of God are spoken of when seeds grow into trees or shrubs and produce fruits for harvest without human intervention. These daily happenings assure us that, for the sake of God’s Kingdom, there will be final glorious victory of God over human honest hustles. (Cf. Mark 4:26-34)
It may sound meaningless to keep busy schedule every day. Victory comes with risk taking. You run away from your ministry because of obstacles or difficulties. But God assures you that even in your absence there will be harvest. The success is God’s handiwork and not only human honest hustles. Turning little beginning into glory is God’s making in God’s style.
Fr. Simon Assogba, SMA