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Contents: Volume 2

11th & 12th Sundays of Ordered Time

6/16/2024 & 6/23/2024


 
The

11th/12th
Sundays

(B)

 
 

1. -- Lanie LeBlanc OP - 11th Sunday
2. --
Dennis Keller - 12th Sunday
3.  – Fr.
John Boll, OP - 11th Sunday
4. -- (
Your reflection can be here!)

*****************************************************
1.
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The

11th
Sunday

(B)

 

Sun 11 B

The Scripture readings for this Sunday remind us that our God is the God of Wonder. In the first reading from the Book of Ezekiel, we see that God is a God of second chances, actually many chances. In the Gospel selection according to Mark, we are given a glimpse of how God works in us to build the Kingdom.

If we look at our lives (and hindsight is great for spiritual direction) we will see, just like in Ezekiel's time, that there have been other opportunities that come up when we have hit serious disappointment, a bit of hopelessness, or even tragedies. How do we view those changes? Are they coincidence or God at work in our lives?

The first of the Gospel parables helps us understand more about God working behind the scenes. God really is always somewhere in the picture, maybe even backstage during the drama! When we consciously seek the Almighty and become more aware of the Divine Presence in small ways and larger ones, God does become the center of our lives as a reality., not just a wishful prayer.

 

The second parable about the mustard seed is a familiar one. It gives us hope in our situations so that we do not give up when we doubt, lose sight of better things, or lose patience with ourselves and others. Even the tiniest speck of faith is enough to give God permission to continue working in our lives.


Where is it that each of us needs a manifestation of the Divine Presence? It will be there, waiting to be noticed, accepted, and appreciated. "As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do." Ek 17:24.

Blessings,
Dr.
Lanie LeBlanc OP
Southern Dominican Laity
lanie@leblanc.one

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2.
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The

12th
Sunday

 

(B)

 

Twelfth Sunday of

Ordered Time

June 23 2024

 

Job 38:1 & 8-11; Responsorial Psalm 23;
2nd Corinthians 5:14-17; Mark 4:35-41

 

The Book of Job is a difficult book. It seems to tell a story that God allows Satan to play with us just to prove how faithful we are. Three friends of Job attempt to prove he deserved pain and suffering. Job should just suck it up and endure the punishment. First the apparent test amounted to destruction of all Job possessed, including his children. His wife was spared. She encouraged Job to curse God and die. When Job rejected this, Satan was allowed to cause Job personal pain and illness. His friends insisted  Job had sinned. That God was the author of his misfortunes as punishment for his sinning. They knew better as they knew Job to be a righteous man. They could think of not other reason for Job’s suffering. In the end a smart young man, believing he was brighter and more intuitive than the three friends, attempted to explain Job’s suffering. He failed. Finally, God speaks. God’s speaking is the first reading this Sunday. The gist of God’s soliloquy is a simple statement: “Am I like you? Do you believe I see events as you do? Do you believe I create disasters to test you? Why do you persist in equating how you think, judge, and act to me?” The common thinking before this morality story of Job was that all suffering was punishment from God. The sins of fathers and mothers caused grief for their children and their children’s children. Not so, the Book of Job teaches.

 

Paul writing to the Corinthians in a second time speaks of “new things that have come.” Jesus is the Son of God. He became an incarnated human – a human with two natures but remaining a single person. That is a complicated concept. What Paul writes about is just as complicated as two natures in one person. The Garden of Gethsemane before Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection clearly show the struggle between the two natures in one person. In Baptism we become reborn according to Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. In that rebirth the truth is that we are incarnated into divine life. The early Fathers of the Church named that event deification of human persons. Baptism begins that journey. In the Eucharist we are drawn progressively into the divine life. That is what Paul means when he writes “So whoever is in Christ is a new creation, the old things have passed away; behold new things have come.” St. Augustine insists when we receive the Lord in Communion – whether in the cup or in the bread – we become what we receive. What we receive is the Word, the divine Son of God incarnated through Mary. We humans become incarnated into divinity through Jesus.

 

The Gospel narrative is proof of his divinity. Jesus is sleeping in the bow of the boat. A storm threatens the disciple’s boat as well as the other boats with them. Jesus, humanly tired from his work --- as we humans are of the many struggles and chaos of family, of work, of politics, of violence – sleeps. His divinity is called upon for salvation from the chaos of the storm and threats of the crashing waves. The indwelling of the Lord that comes to us at our Eucharistic celebration brings us into divinity. It is not a shazam event. This is a growth process. As in the case of Job, his understanding of God’s ways and the time and process it took for his faith to grow, so also that is our process as well.

 

As we begin our lives we experience evidence of a conscious – a judging of right and wrong. In baptism we are baptized into the Lord. We begin our life in union with the Lord by learning the rules, the commandments and precepts. The application of those rules takes some doing. However, rules are a necessary foundation on which our persons are built. The Eucharist is the nourishment, the healing, the uniting food that joins us to the faith community – actually to the Body of the Christ. Progress toward completeness in the Body of he Lord imitates our human life. We begin as infants, we become toddlers, we are recognized as children, we experience the questioning of adolescence, and more into adulthood. The time and experiences of our lives are sources of maturity as children of God. Each reception of the Eucharist is nourishment for growth in faith. Paul says what the goal is for persons of faith. “I live now, not I. But Christ lives in me.”

Dennis Keller Dennis@PreacherExchange.com

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3.
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The

11th
Sunday

(B)

 

2024-06-16 Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.”

It seems strange that a farmer does not know how a plant grows.
I’m sure, even in Jesus’ time, they responded,
“What! . . . What do you mean?
We know what we are doing!”
There is in fact a lot we do!
Beginning early
Turning the soil
Clearing the stones
Adding compost
getting the land ready.
And properly planting the seed at the right time!

But Jesus is not really talking about the farmers work...
He is talking about the Kingdom,
and the strangeness of this statement
alerts us to things we need to hear and understand.

In my garden, I love this time.
All is planted and mulched
I sleep and rise every day
I delight in watching the plants grow, bloom and produce

You know... We are God’s garden, God’s planting’s
It is good to remember, Like any farmer,
God delights in the Garden,

In Genesis we hear God say, “It is Good”
and say of your creation, “it is very Good”
And through it all we sprout and grow,
by the mystery of God’s gifts and grace.

But here, there is more to Jesus’ parable:
“it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land . . .
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

Yes, we are God’s delight
Yet, we do not just step back and watch the growth,
As God delights in us,
we become partners with God...
Gardeners, workers in God’s Garden.

In the MY Garden, As I delight in it each day,
-When I see a weed (a plant in the wrong place) , I remove it.
-When insects or animals begin to eat the plants,
I make sure the plants are protected.
-When they look wilted, I water them.
-And if they loose their color, I fertilize them.

In God’s Garden
Our work is to first see what God is doing,
then Act on what we see
we join with God, and contribute our gifts and talents
to what God is doing
And so we produce Fruit as well...

In the life of our faith community the work is not seasonal,
-Always some are sewing the Word, The good news
-Always Some are tending, healing,
caring for community and neighbor
-And Always, Others are welcoming the harvest,
accompanying and teaching all
who want to join themselves to Christ.

This IS my favorite time in the garden,
for most of all, I enjoy their beauty, hope and promise!
Like God in Eden delighting in creation,
I delight in every plant in the Garden.
AND Soon it will be time to harvest!

In MY Garden, You will know when this begins,
because I will share with you the proverbial abundance
of zucchini and tomatoes
and sometime in July, the grapes will ripen,
be picked, and delighted in!

And in God’s Garden,
“when the grain is ripe,
the gardener will wield the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

And together we will rejoice in the harvest
and know God’s delight!

Fr.
John J. Boll, OP

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4.
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Volume 2 is for you. Your thoughts, reflections, and insights on the next Sundays readings can influence the preaching you hear. Send them to preacherexchange@att.net.  Deadline is Wednesday Noon. Include your Name, and Email Address.

-- Fr. John Boll, OP



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