Signs Of God At Work

Sunday of Week 11 in Ordinary Time - Year B

Mk. 4:26-34

“This is how it is with the kingdom of God.” Jesus begins today's Gospel with these words. And how do we define the kingdom of God? It is that society on Earth where God’s will is done as perfectly as it is in Heaven. It is like seed sown in the ground that eventually reaps a harvest. It is also like a mustard seed that grows into a large tree.

One of the reasons why evangelists tell these parables of Jesus was to encourage the persecuted early Church. They were not too great in numbers and yet so many of them were being persecuted and martyred. These stories were intended to help them not to become discouraged ... that this tiny seed, the Church, no matter what happens, will grow and one day be harvested.

The seed is probably one of the most fascinating things in God's creation. When you hold it in your hand, it seems like nothing, just a little speck. If you keep it out of the soil, it will remain that way, never becoming anything. You might even think it's a worthless particle and discard it.

Once sown in earth the seed sprouts and grows without the farmer knowing how it happens. This to me is a great proof of God’s existence. He not only creates a thing but sets it in motion and guides it along its journey to fruition. How can anyone say that such a thing just happens? In fact it is an insult to God to say it just happens without His input.

God and only God can create a seed from nothing but there is something which we have to do. He wants us to be partners with Him. The seed that He created He wants us to sow. He is going to show us that this little seed has the most amazing potential! All we have to do is to place it in the soil. From that moment He takes over. He waters and gives it sunlight and transforms it into a mighty tree, or a beautiful flower or a nourishing vegetable. The farmer does not have to do too much. Night and day, while he goes about his regular business, this seed is busy producing life abundantly. On its own it can put forth huge branches so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.

Another lovely way of looking at these parables it to realise that Jesus Himself is the seed. He came into our world quite unnoticed, born to poor parents huddled in a dark cave. For 30 years He lived a quiet life, learning His father's trade. Once He began His public ministry, many religious leaders thought He was some fanatic, or possessed by a devil. Yet from this seed God brought about the largest 'plant' in the garden of His creation - the tree of life. Now, through Jesus, salvation has come to the whole world and we, His people, can find rest and nourishment in the shade of His branches.

Sometimes we can find it very difficult to see God at work in and around us. Like the mustard seed it is usually in small ways and we can miss this growth, if we don't look carefully, or are preoccupied with looking for something immensely powerful. Let us not discount the small works of God around us and we need to keep our minds open to whatever the Lord chooses to work in our life. If we can compare Jesus to the seed that grew why not compare ourselves to a small seed. We never know what God can achieve through us!

Lord, You are the One who sows the seed in the life of every human person, and brings forth fruit. Help us today to recognize Your work in us and to cherish the fruit it produces. May we never be an obstacle to Your work.