“Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.”
Second Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 5:6-10
by Sister Maureen Niedermeyer, OSB
God takes a tender shoot, plants it and in time, it becomes a majestic cedar tree, which offers birds shade under its boughs. We are a weak and sinful people, but God increases our desire and growth in His life just as He prospers the life of the small cedar bough. I sometimes wonder how I have been able to comfort and care for several persons that God has put into my path. In prayer I realize it is all God’s gift; He works in my life like He makes the withered trees bloom. Jesus says, “Have faith and be patient for I am with you, overseeing all that is and will be.”
St. Paul reminds us that we walk by faith, not by sight. How has that faith carried me through hard times? Am I aware of God’s loving presence even in the darkness and fear that I may experience? May I see You with me as I begin each day confident of Your love which is always there to guide me. Like St. Paul may I try to please You always.
Jesus uses parables to teach the people. Their beauty lies in their ability to engage the imagination and get us interested in the stories. Despite the seeming lack of progress in the coming of the kingdom, the parables depict Jesus having a deep trust in God. In good times that small and insignificant mustard seed will yield a rich harvest. What gives us hope and patience in our own slow growth in virtue? As Jesus was choosing His apostles, He was willing to make a beginning, trusting in God and in those He would inspire to bring His work to completion. Our world today needs our willingness to bring about change. We worry about the rise in violence, climate change, and the ravages of Covid-19. The temptation is to give up and do nothing! Yet, God would use us as instruments for the world’s salvation. We are like insignificant mustard seeds, but united with the Lord, we can eventually build a world charged with the glory of God!
From the Rule of St. Benedict
“The first step of humility is unhesitating obedience, which comes naturally to those who cherish Christ above all.” 5:1-2
“The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower. All who come to him will live forever.”