Today’s readings are about the birth and growth of the reign or rule of God (Kingdom of God), in human lives and about the gigantic growth of the Church from very humble beginnings. Both growths are slow and mysterious, guided by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The first reading, taken from Ez 17:22-24, is a messianic prophecy. The prophet tells us how the Lord God of Israel will allow a descendant of King David to become the Messiah and savior of the world. In contrast with the parable of tiny mustard seed in today’s gospel, Ezekiel sees the Messiah originating in a royal family (lofty Cedar, David).
In the second reading, St. Paul teaches the Corinthian Christians that they are to please God by doing His will (thus advancing the growth of God’s kingdom and His rule in their lives), so that they may be amply rewarded in the final judgment.
b Jesus compares the growth of the kingdom of God to the germination of a wheat seed and that of a tiny mustard seed. Both have very small beginnings. The wheat seeds, by gradual but steady growth help the farmer to get a bumper crop. In the same way, the life principle in a tiny mustard seed enables it to grow into a large bush. The reign of God in human hearts and the growth of the Church in the world also have small beginnings. However, the Source of all life, God the Holy Spirit, gives to both a steady, persistent and gigantic growth.
Indeed, all parishes within the Diocese of Honolulu are restoring the Original Order of the Sacraments of Initiation between 2018-2020.
In the early Church, the person was immersed into the waters of Baptism, anointed with chrism, and shared in the Eucharistic meal as part of a single event. Over time, and for many reasons, the celebration of these three sacraments became separated from one another. In the renewal stemming from the Second Vatican Council, the Church was asked to more clearly set forth the intimate connection of Confirmation with the whole of Christian initiation. This original order also helps us recognize that sharing in the Eucharist completes our initiation into the Church and that it is Eucharist which is the “source and summit of our faith.”
Go to www.catholichawaii.org for more information on this