Friday of the Third Week of Ordinary Time

We never know what our labor for God will yield, how the seeds we plant might grow. Our God is a God of surprises; we never know how He will go about providing growth, but we do know that if anything does grow—be it a plant, a person, a heart, a soul—it is because of Him.

Jesus, the Word of God, was planted firmly in the world by becoming a human being, a creature made from the very dusts of the earth. A mustard seed of a man, born in the Roman backwater two thousand years ago, in nearly every way irrelevant; no one but He could have imagined the result. What began with Twelve apostles and numerous disciples has reached across nation, race, culture and sea to encompass the entire world. Truly, Christianity was the smallest of seeds but now has become the largest of plants.

You, too, are a part of this flourishing; we are the branches receiving life from the Vine of Christ, firmly rooted in the love of the Father. As we plant the seeds of the Gospel, carrying out Christ’s mission in the world, bringing others into the family of God, we see the Church grow. It may be painfully gradual or it may take off like wildfire. Nevertheless, anyone familiar with mustard plants knows that once they are established, they are incredibly difficult to control or eliminate. The Christian faith is similar: even when our children drift away for years from the faith, many of them come back. Even those who do not return often cannot fully shake off the ways their Christian upbringing has affected them and their beliefs.

When you go about the work of Christ, then, do not fear if it seems like your labors are not yielding fruit. Likewise do not be tempted to think that you are incapable of achieving great things; consider the example of St. Thérèse who teaches us that we need not do great things to please God. We may also do small things with great love, by which He is also pleased. Even the smallest seed, Jesus tells us, can yield tremendous results.

January 29th, 2016