My Aunt Ciony likes to share pictures of the colorful and beautiful flowers she’s raising in her garden. Her photos include also those that are yet to bloom and you can imagine how she feels if one plant doesn’t flower well or is late in blooming. Patience, care and hard work are among the traits needed to raise seeds into great plants.
Our Gospel today speaks about the kingdom of God,
“It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” (Mk. 4: 26-34)
It is a parable that is quite easy for us to relate to, as farming is a common occupation many years back around this beautiful country. We understand that planting and raising a great tree is a slow process and is without shortcut. Starting from a tiny seed, great potential is realized after much watering, caring and shielding from the threats to its life.
Just like the tiny seeds, we also consider ourselves so small compared to the vast universe, or even our own earth. Looking at it we can even look at ourselves as so insignificant to be even counted! Yet, we are also endowed with so much potential.
Each of us can grow into something much larger throughout the course of our lives. Look at your own self, how you have done a great job so far, considering the difficulties and challenges that you’ve went through. This has nothing to do with the degree you’ve achieved, but it’s more on what you do with what you have or what is given you. More often than not, people who feel that they are part of the least actually end up with accomplishing some of the greatest achievements just like the mustard seed. Yet the most important element in this success is not of our own making, but it’s really allowing God to fulfill His plan for us. Letting go of our own selfish desires and leaving all to God to grow us into the majestic tree that He meant us to be.
Once in a while the Master Gardner will trim us of our pride and selfishness just as even the biggest trees in the world need to be cut of its leaves from time to time, so the younger trees can rise up and grow as well. Trees with the most abundant foliage even have to lose their leaves during winter so that they can bloom brighter in the next season. At times we need to go through different challenges and trials in order to gain a new mindset though at other times the seasons are brighter. The Lord is telling us that it’s not really about how tall and lush or pretty the tree is, that defines whether it is a good one. It’s about its roots, and how deep these go down the earth and what they are capable of doing.
Similarly, it’s not about how important we think we are – but it’s about our intentions and reasons behind everything we do. How deeply are we rooted in Christ, and in our faith so we can handle those challenges and those blessings that come to us in life. Yes, blessings are included. Sometimes the Lord endows us with material wealth to test us how we handle life’s good moments. What is our purpose in what we do? Do we relish hard work and all that it can provide and doing the best job we possibly can and experiencing our full potential in everything we do? This applies not only in our service to others, but in our own spiritual growth, the ultimate determinant of what defines us, because it brings us closer in intimacy with the Lord.
However, many times we get so caught up in what we do and our careers that we fail to see and hear from God what our true calling may be and what He expects from us. Only God knows our fullest potential, and yet so often we fail to simply ask Him to show it to us. Our pride will prevent us from asking God in prayer what are His plans for us.
We all can choose our paths. We can all discern about what Jesus would do in any situation we are in, and how we should be treating others, and how we should embrace everything in life as a blessing. The attitude of being grateful in all circumstances. At its best, we all have so much God-given potential in our life. We just need to realize it, get out of the way and let the seed grow.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower. All who come to Him will live forever.”