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.
The Kingdom of God is like seeds that, once planted, grow on their own without human intervention. Our role is to plant the seeds and harvest the fruit but to leave the spiritual maturation to God. Like the birds who nest in the shade of the mustard bush, our role is simply to use the gifts God has already given us. It can be very easy to believe that we are responsible for our own successes. We sometimes lack the humility that comes from knowing that everything we have is a gift from God. But with that humility can also come great freedom as we increasingly rely on God’s power rather than our own.
How can I be more grateful in my life for my talents, my fortunes and my successes? Where do I need to ask for God’s grace in my life rather than continue to struggle on my own?
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.
—St. Ignatius of Loyola
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