February 1, 2019
by Tamora Whitney
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 321

Hebrews 10:32-39
Psalms 37:3-4, 5-6, 23-24, 39-40
Mark 4:26-34

Praying Ordinary Time

It’s winter where I am now, so the talk in the Gospel about planting and sowing seems far away. We recently had a lot of snow here. It seems a long time until spring gardening. But like Shelley says, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?” And when spring comes, my yard is a lot like the situation in the Gospel. I live in the forest and I don’t know where the trees come from, but they come and they grow and fast. One day the yard will be bare, the next it seems it’s like a rain forest. Jesus says that seed gets scattered, and next thing you know, there’s a plant. Sure, there’s cultivation and care like irrigation and harvest. But even without all that, plants grow.

The littlest thing can make a big difference. The mustard seed is tiny, but the plant is huge. It’s like a tree. It seems impossible that something so small and seemingly insignificant can have such an amazing result. The tiny seed results in a plant that gives shade and where birds can roost. A man tosses out some seeds, maybe like Johnny Appleseed, and maybe doesn’t cultivate or water or anything, but next thing you know there are apples.

And this is like the Kingdom of God.  A word, an action, an act of charity, some little thing, can have a big effect, maybe one that we won’t even see. Like the man who scatters a seed and suddenly it seems has a huge tree, some small activity, some little deed, can turn someone to the Lord. It seems amazing that something so small can have such an amazing result. But it’s up to all of us to be good role models, be good examples, so we can be good stewards. We don’t know whose lives we might touch and what effect we might have.

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