Seeds are amazing! We plant them, provide the right environment and then wait. Miraculously, the seeds flower into an array of fabulous plants. We can help the plants to grow, but we cannot make them grow, this power is out of our hands. Ultimately we cannot predict the harvest. The seeds of faith work in the same way. We can teach someone else about God but ultimately that is all we can do. People react to God’s word in countless different ways, ways we cannot predict. Jesus’ first disciples were to take comfort in the knowledge that although they were entrusted to plant the seeds of faith, they were not responsible for the harvest …. God would take care of that.
The task of planting the seeds of faith in the twenty first century can seem as daunting as it must have seemed to those early disciples. Can we really make any difference to a world that allows daily atrocities? Today’s gospel offers yet more consolation. Jesus speaks of the tiny mustard seed. Despite its insignificant appearance it grows into an impressive shrub substantial enough to provide shade. It’s thought provoking that such a humble seed should provide so impressive a result. Jesus teaches us that we mustn’t be overwhelmed when faced with a seemingly overwhelming task. We must simply implement Christ’s teaching with whatever humble means we have, and leave God to do the rest.
The kingdom of God … is like a mustard seed,…the smallest of all seeds on earth…; it grows into the biggest shrub of them all…’