Great things come from little seeds.
Look at what God does in Israel many, many years ago. Exiles return from Babylon. Down and out, defeated, and without a temple, the people wonder about the Messianic promise. One person who does not doubt God’s plan is Ezekiel. Here is one who walks by faith and not by sight. To instill hope into the people, Ezekiel uses imagery of pruning and planting. The growth of the country will be like the growth of a tender shoot. God does the planting. God does the watering. God does the pruning. To see God in action the people need the eyes of faith.
According to Jesus, this is how the kingdom takes place: often it shoots up from tiny unknown seeds. According to Father Barron, great things come from the little seeds in the lives of Our Lord and the saints. Who knew that a worldwide Church would spring up from a horrible event on Golgotha? Great things come from little seeds. Who knew that a Franciscan Order would spring up from a beggar whom people thought to be crazy in Assisi? Great things come from little seeds. Who knew that Christianity would spring up from the witness of St. Charles Lwanga who said no to the sins of the tribal chief? Because of his example and many others, Christianity is the fastest growing religion in Africa. Great things come little seeds. Who knew that a five-foot nun from Europe would begin a missionary order to care for the poorest of the poor in India and throughout the world? Great things come from little seeds.
What are the little seeds here that become great things? Who knew that this beautiful chapel would be such a great place to worship on Sundays with the Benedictine sisters? Who knew that when you got a wheelchair or a walker, one of the residents would show you how to drive? Then, who knew that when you arrived here scared and feeling alone, someone would take your hand and guide you around to all the activities and people buzzing around us here at Villa St. Benedict? Leaving our homes, our trusted secure dwellings must be the biggest examples of walking by faith and not by sight. Great things come from little seeds.
The most important seeds of course are the grains of wheat and the seeds of grapes that become our Holy Communion. Here at the altar of Christ’s body and blood we receive food for the journey. Here we become like Stan the farmer who stood in the middle of a huge field of grass. When a passerby sees Stan in the field, she pulls the car over to the side of the road. As she gets out she notices that Stan is just standing there, doing nothing, looking at nothing. So, she walks all the way out to the farmer and asks him, “Ah excuse me mister, but what are you doing?” Stan replies, “I’m trying to win a Nobel Prize.” “How?” asks the woman, puzzled. “Well, I heard they give the Nobel Prize . . . to people who are out standing in their field.”
(And here you thought that the joke would be in the beginning!)
The Rev. Fr. Dr. T. Becket A. Franks, O.S.B.
11th Sunday Ordinary Time