Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino
Eleventh Sunday: Trusting in God's Time
Those of you who know me know that I have the basic New York attitudes of trying to do too much myself and wanting everything immediately. I have somewhat of a typical city boy attitude. I definitely would have made a terrible farmer. Even now I'll go out to the flowers and say, "Come on, let's cut the bud stuff and start blooming." Farmers have to be patient. Farmers also have to recognize that they really can't do things themselves. They have to depend upon nature.
The gospel reading, from Mark, contains two parables that farmers would certainly understand, but which drive city slickers like me nuts. The first is the parable of the seed. The farmer plants the seed and goes about his routine day, day after day. Eventually the seed grows, not because the farmer does something special, but because nature took its course. By the way, to the ancients every field of wheat, every flower, was a miracle of God's hand. The second parable is that of the mustard seed which seems insignificant, but with the growth that God gives becomes a plant, probably 8 to 10 feet, large enough to shelter the birds of the sky. These two parables of the Kingdom of God tell us that we have to trust in God to give growth to the Kingdom. Furthermore, the growth He gives will be greater than we could ever imagine. The kingdom that we trust God to give growth to could be the Kingdom of our church in the world, the Kingdom of our parish right here, or, particularly, the Kingdom of our home.
There are many times that we expect too much of ourselves and others. To make matters worse, we expect too much to happen too soon. Sometimes parents expect their 15 year olds to act like 21 year olds. Sometimes we get thoroughly disappointed in ourselves because we are not the perfect people we like to imagine ourselves being. Sometimes we are impatient with how we or others are progressing in life. We may be upset with our home situations, our marriages, our families, our jobs, or what have you. What we have to understand is that none of us are self-made men and women. If we trust in God, He will give growth. This growth might be very subtle, nothing we can put our fingers on. But after a while it suddenly occurs to us: God has brought us a long way. If we trust in God the growth that He gives us will be more than we could imagine. We are all small seeds, but God can make of us great trees. However, if we think that we can do everything ourselves, and if we don't trust in God, we won't get anywhere. None of us can make ourselves or others grow.
Let me be a bit more specific with something that we all want: peace in our families. We have to pray to God and trust Him to bring his peace. To think we can cause peace to happen in our homes or anywhere without God is to give ourselves power we don't have.
I am not the only person in this parish who puts too much pressure on himself or herself. I am not the only person in this parish who is always looking for results. But all of us have entrusted God with our lives. We must trust Him to form us in people more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.
After all, He does a pretty good job with flowers.