A reading from the Gospel of Mark
Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
The imagery of seeds and fruits are often featured in the parables of Jesus. When we think of the life cycle of a plant we envision a planted seed sprouting from the ground, forming roots and growing tall to form branches and leaves and eventually flowers, and from flowers there are fruits.
Once the fruit is cut from the tree and dies, it dries out and is broken open to yield more seeds that will allow the farmer to sow seeds once more for another season. So it is with our lives: we are the fruits of our parents, our families and our formators; be it teachers, priests, and/or mentors.
The culmination of their efforts working with God forms our bodies, our minds and our hearts and helps us find a direction for our lives - one that will bear fruit.
However, there comes a time in our lives where we must choose the next step. Unless we choose to die to ourselves and allow ourselves to be broken, the good seeds planted in our hearts by God cannot be sown nor bear fruit. Unless we choose to enter the darkness of the cold, hard, ground of our suffering and be buried with Jesus Christ, we also cannot be planted and sprout into the light of His life and resurrection.
God cannot work in us unless we first choose to die with Him. Dying to our own will, our own wants and our own plans for our lives requires us to first cultivate a love of God and trust in His Will.
Let us surrender our will over to God today like our Blessed Mother did. Let us ask God to help us love Him more every day.