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God Never Stops Working

June 13, 2021

A reflection for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, year B. The readings are Ezekiel 17:22-24, Psalm 92, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 and Mark 4:26-34.

I don’t know the first thing about gardening. If the plant needs more than watering once a day, forget it. Last year we had two tomato plants and that was amazing. Once we found the perfect sunny spot for them, all we had to do was water them once a day and before you know it, we had like 200 hundred tomatoes! It was a fruitful harvest! Plants are amazing, really. Even grass. Have you ever planted grass? Last year (and this year) we are fixing these dead patches in our lawn and it’s amazing: you throw some dirt; scatter some seed and then water it once a day. Seven days later there are these baby grasses growing – so cute! And keep watering for another week and the grass is already all grown up and that’s it. It will continue to grow and spread. There’s nothing you need to do. It’s a miracle.

This year I have become fascinated with dandelions. Those things are amazing! You know you have to dig them out from the root – so this year (because we’re fixing our lawn), we started digging dandelions. We spent all afternoon one Saturday and pulled maybe 100 or so. The next day I look at the lawn and there are like 100 little stems that have all of a sudden shot up. I’m like, “I can’t spend another two hours digging all these out before they flower” (because there aren’t 100 dandelions in our lawn, but like 100,000!). So I decided that if I just cut the stems off, at least they won’t go to seed (cause each flower has like 1000 seeds!). So I went and ripped off a whole ton of stems. The next day I look out and there are like 100 more stems and flowers! So I ripped them all again (even though the flowers look so pretty). The next day; 100 more stems and now they’re turning white! Those things are amazing. You can’t kill them. They’re really hard to uproot. You don’t have to plant them. You don’t have to water them. They grow anywhere; they’ll grow through the sidewalk; through the cracks in your driveway! So I did some research. Turns out that dandelions are also like a super food. You can eat the roots; you can eat the stems, the leaves, the petals… the whole thing! They have all these nutrients and they’re supposed to be good for your blood pressure, your cholesterol, they help fight inflammation, they lower your blood sugar; they’re good for your liver function…. They’re miracle plants. I swear they’re also probably the cure for COVID! They’re amazing. All plants are amazing. All animals are amazing.

And look at how amazing our human bodies are: there are four elements, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen and depending on how these molecules are assembled together, they form amino acids. Depending on how the amino acids are assembled together, that makes proteins. Proteins are then the engines that tell a cell what their function is. And our whole body is comprised of cells. We have skin cells, brain cells, blood cells – every organ is made up of cells that are told how to behave by these proteins. It’s amazing. And we, through science, can learn how they work and influence how all that works – mostly for the good – but in the end, who knows? Why do some people respond to chemotherapy or radiation and others don’t? Why does a virus like COVID make some people so sick and kills others – 4 million worldwide – and others get it and don’t even know they have it?

We don’t know.

I think that should give us some humility.

A farmer can do all the right things, but in the end, what makes one seed germinate and the other one not germinate? What makes that one tomato plant give lots of fruit and others none? The first reading tells us that God can make a high tree low and a low tree high; God can make a green tree dry and a dry tree green. God is in control. The Psalm says that even in old age they shall bear fruit. God is in control. Jesus says in the Gospel that the farmer sows the seed and then he waits.

God does the growing.

That is the Good News for today. That’s why the opening prayer today says that without God we can do nothing. That’s why St. Paul tells the Corinthians that we have to walk by faith, not by sight. We have to walk by sight because we live in this physical world, but we also have to walk by faith, knowing and trusting that God is in control.

And God is always at work.

 There’s a great Gospel song called “Way Maker”. It says that God is a “way-maker, miracle-worker, promise-keeper, light in the darkness…” That’s who God is. God is always making a way ; always working miracles; always keeping promises; always lighting the darkness. Later on in the song it says, “Even when I don’t see it, you’re working; even when I don’t feel it you’re working. You never stop, you never stop working.” We have to believe that. God never stops working. Even if you don’t see it, he’s working. He’s working right here, right now. He’s moving every heart. He’s moving in our midst. He’s healing every heart; He’s turning lives around. Even if you don’t see it, he’s working. You come to Mass and don’t feel anything. It doesn’t matter, God is working right here. God is working in our children, even if we don’t see it, even if we don’t feel it. God is working in our schools and our school boards, even if we don’t see it. God is working in our government, even if we don’t feel it. God is working in the United Nations, even if we don’t see it. God is working in our hospitals and in the pharmaceutical companies, even if we don’t see it, even if we don’t feel it. God is working; He never stops working.

This past year has been hard. Maybe some of you want to just pretend this past year never happened. Maybe you haven’t worked in a year. But God has been at work. You may not see it; you may not feel it. But God has been at work. We come back to Church and see how much smaller it is and see that some people have dropped off. It feels like that Church has shrunk over the last year – it hasn’t. The Church is growing. Quietly. God is at work. You may not see it, but he is.

 And that’s the hard part. Because when we know that God is always at work and we trust that He always it at work, we have to trust that. We may never see the fruitful harvest, but the harvest will come. We have to do the planting and God will see to the harvest. We have to trust that God is a work and that means we have to also do our work. He never stops working and we can’t stop working either. And we can’t stop praying. You may never see the results but you can’t stop working or praying. Think of all the people in Scripture who never saw the fruit of their labours: Abraham, Moses, Joseph… We may never see the fruit of our labours – not until we get to Heaven.

We work as if everything depended on us, but we pray as if everything depended on God.

You may never see the results, but God is always working. You may not see it; you may not feel it, but he is. So you keep working too. And keep praying. And God will bring everything to a fruitful harvest!

From → English

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