Growing in His Time | Friar Reflections | 11th SIOT

Saints of God, the Lord be with you!

My friend Antonio is one of the most patient people I know. Not only does he put up with me, but when we video chat once a week and I see how he interacts with his two-year-old son Augustus, he’s downright saintly. And if this isn’t enough, he is a gardener who starts his garden from seeds growing in pots in early spring.

When I meditate on the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (17: 22-24) “I will take from the crest of the cedar, from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot…” and then read from the Gospel according to Mark (4: 26-34) the parable of the mustard seed, “the smallest of all the seeds on the earth” I am reminded of God’s patience, and His proclivity to choose small things through which to work.

I suppose God could have chosen a mighty and strong people to be his own, but he chose the Jews. I suppose God could have chosen a rich queen from a large metropolis to become His mother, instead He chose a poor teenage girl, from a town of no importance. I suppose the Word of God could have come into the world fully grown and strong, but He became a small and vulnerable human baby. God has His reasons for choosing the small and weak. Perhaps it’s so His grace will become ever more evident. Who knows?

Most of us, in the eyes of the world are nobodies, destined to be nobodies. But in God’s eyes we are all somebodies. God has begun a good work in us, and God will see that good worked finished. All we need to do is cooperate with Him.

That mustard seed has grown into “the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” A beautiful image of what the Church at large should be (the bush denies no bird a home), and a beautiful image of what Sacred Heart parish is: a place of peace and rest to all in downtown Tampa.

Today, let us continue to grow, in patience toward one another and ourselves and in hospitality to our neighbors. In this way we will continue to cooperate with God and His good work already begun in us will bear fruit.

-Fr. Steve