Welcome to St. Ignatius Chapel. Today we celebrate the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
00:08 - Our celebrant today is Jesuit Fr. Russell Pollitt SJ.
00:42 - In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
00:45 - [Amen. ] The grace and the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
00:51 - [And with your spirit. ] Today we move back into Ordinary Time, after the Easter Season and a number of different feasts.
01:00 - We come back to the ordinary time of the year and our liturgical colour is green.
01:05 - Time for reflection and growth on the many parables that Jesus tells us.
01:13 - We come before the Lord knowing that we are sinful, that we are weak.
01:18 - Let’s pause asking him for mercy and forgiveness.
01:24 - You were sent to heal the contrite of heart.
01:26 - Lord, have mercy. [Lord, have mercy. ] You came to call sinners.
01:30 - Christ, have mercy. [Christ, have mercy. ] You are seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, where you intercede for us.
01:37 - Lord, have mercy. [Lord, have mercy. ] May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to life everlasting.
01:45 - [Amen. ] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to people of good will.
01:52 - We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.
02:05 - Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
02:24 - For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.
02:36 - Amen. And let us pray: O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.
02:59 - We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
03:07 - [Amen. ] A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel.
03:21 - Thus says the Lord God: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it out; I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it upon a high and lofty mountain; on the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar; and under it will dwell all kinds of beasts; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest.
04:03 - And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish.
04:17 - I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it. ” The word of the Lord.
04:25 - [Thanks be to God. ] Our response: It is good to give thanks to you, O Lord.
04:33 - [It is good to give thanks to you, O Lord. ] It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your loving mercy in the morning, and your truth in the watches of the night.
04:50 - [It is good to give thanks to you, O Lord. ] The just will flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a Lebanon cedar.
05:02 - Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.
05:07 - [It is good to give thanks to you, O Lord. ] They will still bear fruit when they are old, and still full of sap, still green, to proclaim that the Lord is upright.
05:20 - In him, my rock, there is no wrong. [It is good to give thanks to you, O Lord. ] A reading from the second letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians.
05:35 - Brothers and sisters: We are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
05:51 - We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
05:59 - So whether we are at home or away, we must make it our aim to please him.
06:05 - For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.
06:18 - The word of the Lord. [Thanks be to God. ] [Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!] The seed is the word of God, the sower is Christ; all who come to him will live forever.
06:49 - [Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!] The Lord be with you.
07:11 - [And with your spirit] A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark.
07:15 - [Glory to you, O Lord. ] At that time: Jesus said to the crowds, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how.
07:37 - The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
07:45 - But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come. ” And he said to them, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds of the earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.
” With many such parables he spoke the word to them, and they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
08:39 - The Gospel of the Lord. [Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ. ] Very often Jesus uses parables to teach – there are in fact 13 parables in the Gospel of Mark.
08:58 - And in a way, it seems to me, parables were the “movies”, or “Facebook” or “Twitter” of Jesus’ time.
09:08 - You see, Jesus was skilled at using parables – he didn’t invent “parables” (the rabbis had long used them to teach and explain things to people to drive the point home…).
09:23 - But Jesus inherits a very memorable tradition, it’s visual and also contains a moral lesson.
09:35 - And so just as we are so familiar with social media, with Facebook and Twitter, Jesus’ own hearers would’ve been very familiar with the use of parables.
09:48 - And because most of the people of Israel in Jesus’ time were farmers, he used analogies from that world from the farming world.
10:00 - And that’s how Jesus tries to explain to his own hearers what the Kingdom of God is like and how this Kingdom comes about.
10:11 - I want to suggest today that there are three things that we can reflect upon if we listen carefully to the parable we have just heard.
10:23 - You know so often we are impressed by the glitz, by what is big, by what is large.
10:31 - We tend to despise what is small and unseen, we think that it is insignificant.
10:40 - We tend to think that the little things that we do are insignificant and it’s only those in powerful positions or find themselves often in the media that do important things.
10:53 - And yet Jesus, in this parable, reminds us that the small things that we do day to day can bring about much bigger things – like a big building, just look at any big building that’s been built, it starts by putting one small brick upon another.
11:19 - And therefore it’s not necessarily those that seem to hog the media space that are doing the significant things, because very often that only lasts a while and it disappears.
11:29 - but rather it’s those who do the daily build slowly, who ultimately do what is most significant.
11:41 - Seeds need darkness, they need isolation, they are covered by the earth to germinate – something small, something hidden, something anonymous so to speak, has got tremendous potential and power.
12:00 - And so too for us. We bring about the kingdom of God when we choose to do the small things consistently everyday, no matter how insignificant or anonymous they feel.
12:16 - It is those little things that we do daily that are the very building bricks of the Kingdom of God among us.
12:26 - The second thing is so often we are focused on outcomes.
12:31 - We hear this in education, outcomes based education, or results.
12:38 - We want results and we want them fast. We live in an age of “instant” products, think about it, instant noodles, instant photos, instant soup, instant relief of a headache.
12:54 - We forget that certain things cannot be rushed.
13:01 - To grow to maturity as a person cannot be rushed – it’s the journey of a lifetime.
13:11 - To build good relationships cannot be rushed, they are done or they are built over a long period of time.
13:22 - And so in the parable Jesus tell us that the farmer does his part – he sows the seed.
13:29 - And then he has to wait for the seed to germinate, and for the seed to grow.
13:35 - And he is completely powerless when it comes to that germination or that growing.
13:41 - You see, our efforts alone do not bring about the Kingdom of God – we have to wait for God to do the work.
13:53 - That calls us to a deep trust and faith that God is working in our lives to bring about the Kingdom inside of us and amongst us.
14:07 - And so today we are invited to examine how well we do our part, how well we do the sowing.
14:15 - But we are also invited to trust, and to have faith, that God is bringing about the kingdom right here and right now amongst us.
14:30 - Therefore we have to be patient – something we often struggle with when we live in an instant world! Because the Kingdom of God is not instant, it grows slowly within us and among us and we simply have to do our part.
14:50 - And the third and final thing is I think to reflect on the God of surprises.
15:00 - It’s interesting, if you read that parable, that second little part of that parable to notice how surprising the Kingdom of God can be.
15:14 - Jesus surprises us when he tells us about the Kingdom of God.
15:20 - You see, very often, so often, we think we have the Kingdom of God all worked out.
15:29 - We think that we can do some sort of mathematical sum, that we simply have to do something and this will be the result.
15:38 - And this is not how the kingdom of God works.
15:42 - Jesus tells us that small little seed grows to be one of the biggest shrubs.
15:50 - Who would’ve thought that a small seed can become one of the biggest shrubs.
15:56 - And therefore we have to constantly be conscious of being open to the God of surprises, and not thinking we have the Kingdom all worked out, we have the way of God’s working all worked out.
16:12 - Because when we do that, it’s not the God of our fathers, Abraham and Isaac, that we believe in, but rather a God that we have constructed for ourselves.
16:25 - Therefore Jesus invites us, he invites those that hear that parable to be open to whatever surprises God gives us.
16:39 - Catholics especially sometimes think that we have the insider view, somehow we have it all, we know it all.
16:48 - There’s that story that I’m sure many of you have heard of St Peter giving somebody a tour of heaven.
16:55 - And they pass a huge gate, and they’re not walking in Sandton remember, this is heaven, and some asks who is inside there behind that gate.
17:04 - And St Peter says “Shhh… that’s the Catholics – they think that they are the only ones who make it into this place. ” It’s dangerous to think we have the Kingdom of God all tied up.
17:19 - The Kingdom of God is always bigger, it is always more than we think.
17:25 - And so, in this parable Jesus invites us to an openness to the God of surprises, who always does things differently to the way that we think.
17:39 - Lets pray today as we celebrate this Eucharist together, as we move back into ordinary time, that this parable of Jesus will help us to see that it is in the small beginnings that great things start, that it is through our deep faith and trust in God, our patience after doing our part, that everything else is at God’s initiative.
18:07 - And let’s pray for the willingness and openness to the God of surprises, who always wants to drop something we don’t expect into our laps.
18:31 - Let’s join together now in praying a profession of faith, as we say together the Apostles Creed.
18:38 - I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
19:12 - I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.
19:23 - Amen. God’s word has been spoken to us through the Scriptures, and now we bring before the Lord all our needs.
19:40 - For eyes to see how God works in small things: that God will help us to see that it is in the small things we consistently do for the common good that we bring about the Kingdom of God in our midst.
19:57 - Lord hear us… [Lord, graciously hear us. ] For openness to God activity in our lives: that God, through the power of the Spirit, would help us be open to the daily surprises God’s offers us to help us see the God’s kingdom is always bigger than we think or imagine.
20:20 - Lord hear us… [Lord, graciously hear us. ] For unity in the human family: that God will awaken within us a spirit of fraternity and help us to cooperate with all peoples, races, and faith traditions in combating disease, poverty, and injustice.
20:44 - Lord hear us… [Lord, graciously hear us. ] For all who are ill: that God will touch the sick and return them to wholeness, free the human family from the coronavirus, and speed the distribution of vaccines.
21:05 - Lord hear us… [Lord, graciously hear us. ] For all who are suffering: that God will assist and guide to fruitfulness all who are searching for jobs, a place to call home, food for their table, or healthcare.
21:24 - Lord hear us… [Lord, graciously hear us. ] For peace: that God will inspire world leaders to take bold steps to end violence and promote justice through dialogue and understanding.
21:41 - Lord hear us… [Lord, graciously hear us. ] For greater stewardship of the earth’s resources: that God will help us understand the value of all living things and give us the wisdom to protect them for future generations.
22:01 - Lord hear us… [Lord, graciously hear us. ] Let us, in a moment of silence, bring our own prayers before the Lord.
22:19 - Lord hear us… [Lord, graciously hear us. ] Lord God, we humbly bring before you these prayers and the prayers, perhaps, of our hearts that have not been expressed in words, and we ask you to hear them, and answer them as you know best, through Christ Jesus, your Son, and our Lord.
22:42 - [Amen. ] Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have this bread to offer: fruit of the earth, and work of our human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.
23:11 - [Blessed be God for ever. ] Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have this wine to offer: fruit of the vine, and work of our human hands, it will become for us our spiritual drink.
23:30 - [Blessed be God for ever. ] Let’s pray, sisters and brothers, that our sacrifice and the sacrifice and efforts of our lives may be acceptable to God, the almighty Creator.
23:56 - [May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of God’s name, for our good and the good of all God’s holy Church. ] O God, who in the offerings presented here provide for the twofold needs of human nature, nourishing us with food and renewing us with your Sacrament, grant, we pray, that the sustenance they provide may not fail us in body or in spirit.
24:22 - We ask this through Christ, our Lord. [Amen] The Lord be with you.
24:35 - [And with your spirit. ] Lift up your hearts.
24:37 - [We lift them up to the Lord. ] Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
24:41 - [It is right and just. ] It is truly right and just that we should give you thanks and praise, O God, almighty Father, for all you do in this world, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
24:51 - For though the human race is divided by dissension and discord, yet we know that by testing us you change our hearts to prepare us for reconciliation.
25:01 - Even more, by your Spirit you move human hearts that enemies may speak to each other again, adversaries join hands, and peoples seek to meet together.
25:11 - By the working of your power it comes about, O Lord, that hatred is overcome by love, revenge gives way to forgiveness, and discord is changed to mutual respect.
25:21 - Therefore, as we give you ceaseless thanks with the choirs of heaven, we cry out to your majesty on earth, and without end we acclaim: Holy, Holy, Holy [Lord God of hosts.
25:33 - Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
25:40 - Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
25:44 - Hosanna in the highest. ] You, therefore, almighty Father, we bless through Jesus Christ your Son, who comes in your name.
25:51 - For he himself is the Word that brings salvation, the hand you extend to sinners, the way by which your peace is offered to us.
25:58 - When we ourselves had turned away from you on account of our sins, you brought us back to be reconciled, O Lord, so that, converted at last to you, we might love one another through your Son, whom for our sake you handed over to death.
26:12 - And now, celebrating the reconciliation Christ has brought us, we entreat you: sanctify these gifts by the outpouring of your Spirit, that they may become the Body and Blood of your Son, whose command we fulfil when we celebrate these mysteries.
26:29 - For when about to give his life to set us free, as he reclined at supper, he himself took bread into his hands, and, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, broke the bread and gave it to his disciples, saying: TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT OF IT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
27:00 - In a similar way, on that same evening, he took the cup of blessing in his hands, and confessing your mercy, and gave the cup to his disciples, saying: TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT, FOR THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD, THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT, WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR ALL FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.
27:22 - DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME. The mystery of faith.
27:39 - Save us, Saviour of the world, for by your Cross and Resurrection you have set us free.
27:47 - Therefore, celebrating the memorial of the Death and Resurrection of your Son, who left us this pledge of his love, we offer you what you have bestowed on us, the Sacrifice of perfect reconciliation.
27:57 - Holy Father, we humbly ask you to accept us also, together with your Son, and in this saving banquet graciously to endow us with his very Spirit, who takes away everything that estranges us from one another.
28:10 - May he make your Church a sign of unity and an instrument of your peace among all people and may he keep us in communion with Francis our Pope, Buti our Bishop and all the Bishops and your entire people.
28:23 - Just as you have gathered us now at the table of your Son, so also bring us together, with the glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with Saint Joseph her spouse, with your blessed Apostles and all the Saints, with our brothers and sisters and those of every race and tongue who have died in your friendship.
28:42 - Bring us to share with them the unending banquet of unity in a new heaven and a new earth, where the fullness of your peace will shine forth in Christ Jesus our Lord.
28:54 - Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, for ever and ever.
29:05 - [Amen. ] The Lord Jesus taught us to call God our Father, and so we pray: Our Father, [who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
29:26 - Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. ] Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, and graciously grant peace in our days.
29:44 - That by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
29:53 - [For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever. ] Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your Apostles: Peace I leave you, my peace I give you, look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will, who live and reign for ever and ever.
30:14 - [Amen. ] The peace of the Lord be with you always.
30:19 - [And with your spirit. ] Let’s take a moment now to pray for peace or to offer peace to those around you, that the Lord would give us peace in our own hearts, in our own families, in our country, and in all those places where there is no peace in our world.
30:53 - And we pray: Lamb of God, [you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
30:59 - Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
31:05 - Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, grant us peace. ] Behold Jesus, the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sin of the world, how blessed are we who are called to share in this supper of the Lamb.
31:25 - [Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed. ] May the Body and Blood of Christ bring us to life everlasting.
31:38 - [Amen. ] Although you cannot receive physical communion with us now, we invite you into a moment of spiritual communion.
31:54 - The great medieval theologian, St. Thomas Aquinas, defined spiritual communion as: “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Holy Sacrament”, and “a loving embrace as though we had already received him. ” His words are echoed by the great mystic, and fellow doctor of the church, St. Teresa of Avila, who wrote: “When you do not receive Communion, and do not attend Mass, you can make a spiritual communion which is a most beneficial practice.
32:26 - By it, the love of God will be greatly impressed on you. ” At this moment we invite you to focus on Christ, and your longing for union with him.
32:40 - Express your desire to feel his grace coursing through you, giving you strength and courage, particularly in these difficult times.
32:50 - In your desiring union you are united with us, and to Christ.
32:56 - In this moment we experience the reality that is already here.
34:32 - Let us pray. As this reception of your Holy Communion, O Lord, you foreshadow the union of the faithful in you, so may it bring about unity in your Church.
34:49 - Through Christ our Lord. [Amen. ] There are people who join us from all over the world for the celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday, and a significant group from Zimbabwe who have been in touch with me.
35:01 - So I thought that I would greet especially those today who have been in touch from Zimbabwe.
35:08 - The Lord be with you. [And with your spirit] May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
35:15 - [Amen. ] Go now in the peace glorifying the Lord by your life.
35:19 - [Thanks be to God. ].