Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 17, 2018
The final lines of the award-winning film biography of Mahatma Gandhi have always been a source of encouragement for me. As his ashes are being scattered over the water, we hear Gandhi’s voice: “Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.” Hello, I’m Franciscan Father Greg Friedman, with the Sunday Soundbite for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time.
I don’t know whether the movie gives us an accurate quote from Gandhi or not, but they certainly build on Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel. There, he is giving us two parables about the Kingdom, both from the natural world. One tells how a seed, once planted by the farmer, sprouts and grows without our doing anything, and yields a harvest. The other is the familiar description of the mustard seed, which though the smallest of seeds, becomes the largest of plants.
The power of the Kingdom is what Gandhi is describing in the film’s closing words: “…the way of truth and love has always won.” Although he was a Hindu, Gandhi knew and respected Christ’s teaching. And like the great Indian leader, when we are tempted to despair at the oppression or violence in our world—whether on the global level or in our personal lives–we must remember that the Kingdom’s truth will prevail, and the love of God has overcome all, in Jesus Christ.