seed would sprout and grow,

Deacon Mike Dalessandro
Deacon Mike Dalessandro

“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 the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.”

Words from our Gospel today, according to Mark.

As the sower plants seeds, it takes a while, but they grow into healthy, hardy plants.
It takes persistence on the part of the plant.
And a lot of help from the sower.

At first, the plants are tender and weak.
Sun can scorch them.
A heavy rain can damage them.
An animal can easily pluck them.
They can become trampled.

But if they can persist through growth,
If they are guarded and protected,
They reach a point where they can handle the trials of the Garden.

Then, gradually, they in turn change the landscape, stabilizing their own little space.
They affect things around them.
They provide shade for others.
They soak up water from puddles.
They divert water flow.
They anchor the soil from erosion.

But yet, as strong as they are, they are always vulnerable to some degree.
They still have needs.
They need the sun day after day.
They need moderate temperatures.
They need water to sustain themselves.

But they are strong.

It’s a miracle these plants have made it to this point.
It all began with the sower, and every step in growth could not have happened without the sower.

The plants have never seen the sower.
They do not have eyes.
But the sower does.
The sower has watched them grow.
Day after day, delighted in their progress.
He always has a close, watchful eye on his Creation.
Always lending a hand in dire moments.
Watering, weeding, tilling, fertilizing.

The plant does its job, and the faithful Sower always does his.
Excited to see just how great they can become.

Bishop Robert Barron

Friends, today’s Gospel compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed that “when it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants.” It seems to be a law of the spiritual life that God wants good things to start small and grow over time.

We’re tempted to say, “You’re God. Just get on with it. Do it!” But why would God work the way he does? We might attempt a few explanations. It is a commonplace of the Bible that God rejoices in our cooperation. He wants us to involve us, through freedom, intelligence, and creativity, in what he is doing. And so he plants seeds, and he wants us to cultivate them.

Consider what God said to St. Francis: “Francis, rebuild my Church.” God could have rebuilt his Church without Francis, but he wanted him to get involved.

When things start small, they can fly under the radar while they gain strength and heft and seriousness. Also, those involved can be tested and tried. Suppose you want to do something great in the life of the Church and you pray and God gives you massively what you want. You might not be ready, and your project will peter out. So be patient and embrace the small invitations.

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