29 October 2019. Tuesday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino S. Volante)
My grandfather is a farmer, and it amazes me to see how he works in the rice field. Imagine, he would plant seedlings to a vast field. At first, you would not see anything but mud. But as days pass by, you will notice that the seedlings are starting to grow, the muddy field of gray and brown starts to become green, until the green covers the whole field. Then they would have fruit, turns into yellow, until it is time for harvest. From nothing, we now have rice on our table. But the real test of a farmer is not in the hard labour, but in waiting for the harvest. While waiting, my grandfather would really look after the field. He would put up scarecrows to fend off any birds that might pluck the grains. He is alert if there are any impending storms and if someone is trying to steal from his field. I feel that this is how we must look at our faith. All of us starts with a small seed, then eventually, through the grace of God, it grows so big that we can climb on it to reach the Kingdom of God. But all of these require two things from us, hard work and patience.
To grow in faith, one must work hard and continue to sustain and maintain what we have. Though God has already planted goodness in us, we must learn to nourish it through prayer, listening to His Word and good deeds. Hard work must be partnered with patience. We must learn to wait for the growth in our faith. Sometimes we do not feel that it is growing. We feel that what we have is not enough, then we start to get frustrated. I remember one brother asking me how I measure the growth in faith. I told him that up to now, I still feel inadequate in terms of faith, but I know that I am growing through the small graces that I receive and through my experiences. I know that little by little, I am growing in faith when I entrust every decision I make in the hands of God. Rather than looking at the bigger scope of things, I feel that patience requires us to look at the minutest and smallest details in order for us to see how our faith is growing. Trials and difficulties may distract us in looking at our faith, but you know, they also help us nourish our faith because they allow us and gives us an opportunity to be open and trusting to God who is the Ultimate Farmer of our lives.
The Gospel for today invites us to work hard and be patient. But ultimately, it is inviting us to be trusting in the Lord that however small our faith is, through His guidance, grace and love, it will grow big enough to shelter and to share shade to other people.
The Gospel Today
Luke 13: 18 – 21
Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like?
To what can I compare it?
It is like a mustard seed that a man took and planted in the garden.
When it was fully grown, it became a large bush
and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.'”
Again he said, “To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took
and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour
until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”