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January 29, 2021

Mk 4: 26-34

He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Taking the long view

How often do we want immediate results? I used to play piano. I played 18 years, but I could not sit down and play a song for you today if I tried. Why? For eighteen years, I fumbled my way through without practice. I hated practicing. I didn’t like painstakingly working through one measure at a time. I lacked the patience to learn a piece of music from the ground up. Instead, I wanted to simply reach the end without delay. I wanted to sit down at the piano and have a beautiful tune flow in my ear and out through my fingertips. I wanted to skip the intermediate stages. 

In today’s Gospel, watch how Jesus describes the growth of the seed. Growth in any area takes time. It happens piece by piece, note by note. Imagine if I had taken the time and allowed for gradual growth, what beautiful music could I have made? Where is God inviting you to take a longer view today?

Gretchen Crowder is the Director of Campus Ministry at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas in Dallas, TX.

 

Prayer

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent
enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of
saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

—Bishop Ken Untener


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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January 29, 2021

Mk 4: 26-34

He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Taking the long view

How often do we want immediate results? I used to play piano. I played 18 years, but I could not sit down and play a song for you today if I tried. Why? For eighteen years, I fumbled my way through without practice. I hated practicing. I didn’t like painstakingly working through one measure at a time. I lacked the patience to learn a piece of music from the ground up. Instead, I wanted to simply reach the end without delay. I wanted to sit down at the piano and have a beautiful tune flow in my ear and out through my fingertips. I wanted to skip the intermediate stages. 

In today’s Gospel, watch how Jesus describes the growth of the seed. Growth in any area takes time. It happens piece by piece, note by note. Imagine if I had taken the time and allowed for gradual growth, what beautiful music could I have made? Where is God inviting you to take a longer view today?

Gretchen Crowder is the Director of Campus Ministry at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas in Dallas, TX.

 

Prayer

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent
enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of
saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

—Bishop Ken Untener


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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