Kathleen Giffin


11th Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 14, 2015
Ezekiel 17.22-24 | Psalm 92 | 2 Corinthians 5.6-10 | Mark 4.26-34
June 1, 2015

We planted some seeds in the garden a few days ago, my granddaughter and I. She carefully laid the pea seeds one after another in a row all by herself. Together we scattered the tiny carrot and lettuce seeds.

She has been over to the vegetable patch a few times since then to check on their progress; the spinach peeked through yesterday but still no sign of the peas, which of course she is most interested in.

I am looking forward to the peas growing, producing flowers and turning into pods she can pick and eat. This is the first year she is old enough to follow the progress, to be amazed at how her simple seeds, planted in the ground in the spring, can become delicious treats hidden within a pod.

With what can we compare the Kingdom of God? – Mark 4.30

'With what can we compare the Kingdom of God?'

Mark 4.30

Jesus uses this image to describe the kingdom of God; clearly there is something for us to attend to here if we are to understand more deeply what our life of faith is to be.

I am first struck by the role we have to play in the growth of God's kingdom. Without our part, without the planting of seeds, they cannot grow.

But as my granddaughter demonstrates, we do not need to be able to envision the finished product in our efforts to contribute. Her simple obedience of placing the seeds in the trench, spaced appropriately and covered with a pat of soil, is sufficient to give the seeds their start.

She does not understand the biology involved; it is enough for her to trust my words, water when I say it needs to be done, weed in the way I show her and the harvest will come.

Paul writes in his second letter to the Corinthians, "We walk by faith, not by sight." Sometimes we rely too heavily on our own efforts, thinking that it is our proficiency or expertise that will produce the good harvest that we desire for God's glory.


The parable of the sower tells a different story. All the education and experience in the world does not contribute to the seed sprouting, growing and producing a harvest.

We can co-operate more or less helpfully - we can plant at an appropriate time and depth; we can water when dry and protect from hail.

But it is from within the seed itself that the plant comes. It truly is God who makes the seed grow. If we wait until we have sufficient understanding before we plant, we are perhaps giving ourselves too much importance.

If we fail to plant because we do not know how, we are not relying on the wisdom of the body of Christ, the wisdom of the Church, of the Scriptures and of our brothers and sisters of the faith.

Our part is necessary, God's part essential. So I will continue to plant my seeds and trust God to make them grow.

(Kathleen Giffin kgif@telus.net)