Friday, January 30, 2015

Jan. 30, 2015 Friday: 3rd Week in Ordinary Time B

Jan. 30, 2015 Friday: 3rd Week in Ordinary Time B

1. Preparation
Lord, may I never take the gift
of freedom for granted. You gave
me the great blessing of freedom of spirit. Fill my spirit with Your peace and Your joy.

2. Today's Scripture (Mark 4:26-34)
Jesus said to the crowd, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come." He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

3. Reflection (Word Among Us,
In the film Mr. Holland’s Opus, the lead character is Glenn Holland, a composer working on a symphony who takes a job as a high school music teacher to support himself and his wife. At first he is frustrated by teaching and dreams only of finishing his composition. But he gradually learns to love his job and to see how much he has taught his students—and how much they have taught him. The film’s message is best expressed in a verse from a John Lennon song that Holland sings for his deaf son, Cole: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Unexpected results is also a theme in these two parables. The farmer can’t predict his harvest from just planting seeds. And someone who knows nothing about mustard plants can’t possibly imagine that they grow from such small seeds. But that’s the point. It’s often the case that when we’re working on one thing, God is doing something else in our hearts, creating something new that we can’t recognize until we look back and see it.

This means that you can relax a bit. Of course, try to stay vigilant at avoiding sin and growing in virtue. But let it be a confident, happy vigilance, secure in the knowledge that God will bring growth in the areas he knows you need the most. Just plant your seeds and tend your garden as you think best, and know that your heavenly Father will bring his good work to completion in you (Philippians 1:6).
God doesn’t always show us what he is doing in our lives, but that’s okay. In fact, it can be very comforting. Rather than expending so much energy trying to figure everything out, we can devote ourselves simply to loving God, loving our neighbors, and helping the needy. If we can focus just on this, we can rest assured that our heavenly Father will take care of everything else!

4. Prayer
“Lord, thank you that you have an awesome plan for my life—even if I can’t see it all. Help me to trust you day by day. Lord, I place my life in your hands!”