How Can We Understand The Kingdom?
I have no idea how in the world I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in philosophy. I hated philosophy. The idea of the concept of “I think therefore I am” made no sense to me. I wasn’t a good student and, as I’ve mentioned to you before, I have and had Attention Deficit Disorder, so studying was very difficult and my mind wondered all the time. It was only by the grace of God I made it through. That’s really the most important part of our Gospel today: patient endurance in several ways.
Jesus, we are told at the end of today’s Gospel, spoke in parables so people who were unfamiliar with what Jesus was saying and the life he was calling his followers to live could come to some understanding. The first parable is one that I can totally relate to. The farmer scatters seeds and somehow, some way, the seed develops, grows, and blooms into wheat, one step at a time. The important thing here is the farmer doesn’t understand how the seed grows. He waters it and does the best he can and hopes for the best.
Jesus appears to be pointing us to our faith and trust. There are lots of times in my life when I’m reminded to place my faith and trust in the Lord, especially when there’s nothing more I can do in any given situation. I have no control and I can’t do anything more. Whether it be in my job: perhaps I’m doing my best but things just aren’t working out the way they should or I’m having difficulties and problems with my spouse or my kids and I can’t seem to find any solution and I just don’t understand what is going on. It is times like these, and I know we all experience this when we’re called to simply place our faith and trust in the hands of the Lord.
It is the same with the mustard seed. From the smallest of seeds, it can grow into a huge tree. The same goes for our faith. Jesus tells us our faith, like the mustard seed, grows at its own speed and in its own time. The mystery here is that we don’t develop our faith, it is a gift from God and it is our God that nurtures our faith. Our job is to be open to God’s working in our lives, one step at a time and one action at a time. Be it a small action like smiling at someone or asking them ‘what’s going on in their lives and listening to them.’ It’s as simple as that. One step at a time. Be open to the surprises in our lives; sometimes God is taking us down roads we don’t like. God nurtures us through the Eucharist, through his Word, and through the support of each one of us to follow in faith and trust.
My experience as a father, a dad, is in many ways the same. There have been a lot of things about my kids growing up that I’ve not understood. I look at the example of the best dad’s I have known, my own dad included, and tried to imitate them. I’ve made a lot of mistakes but I know, for most of us, we try to do our best. Please pray for us, whether we’re new at this or have grandkids and great grandkids, we’re still learning and trying to be as good and loving as we can be. Let’s remember our kids are gifts and blessings from our loving God. Finally, as dads, let’s place our kids in the loving hands of God and know he will take care of them all.
Happy Father’s Day,