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Jesus often spoke in parables to the people who came to listen to him. In the absence of books, pen and paper, tape recorders and all the other devices we are familiar with today, the parable was a useful teaching device designed to enable people easily remember a particular message.

The parables of this Sunday’s Gospel are hope filled ones. They convey something of the mystery of God’s plan which is continually unfolding in our midst and which will come to fruition in due course.

In the first parable the wonder of growth is evident. The farmer plants the seed and without any further intervention on his part, nature takes its course, the seeds sprout and grow, and in time the crop is finally ready for harvesting. In the second parable the tiny mustard seed planted in the soil grows into something bigger than can initially seem possible.

God’s plan for each of us as individuals and for the world as a whole will work itself out and the kingdom of God will come to completion in a timeframe and in a manner that only God knows. In moments of reflection we might ponder on what God’s plan for our own lives is.

O God, at whose bidding the seed will sprout and the shoot grow towards full stature, hear the prayer of your assembled people. Make us trust in your hidden ways, that we may pray with confidence and wait for your kingdom now growing in our midst. Amen.

Fr. Kieran Coghlan

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