“A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.”

Mark 4:26-27

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Mark 4:26-34

How impatient are you? I know that I can be pretty impatient and want to see things done well and brought to completion as soon as possible! Many of us want results and want them fast. We are formed to be results-driven from a young age. The culture and society we live in is one of “instant” products… instant soup, instant noodles, instant photos, instant pain relief… We can easily forget that we cannot rush certain things. To grow to maturity as a person cannot be rushed – it’s the journey of a lifetime. Building a good relationship takes time and involves much work. Most good relationships are an ongoing commitment that requires understanding and patience.

In the parable, Jesus asks us to notice how the farmer does his part – he sows the mustard seed. That is all he can do. Then he has to wait patiently for the seed to grow.

We don’t like to be told to wait. Patience is a virtue that many of us struggle with when we really want something. Yet, Jesus teaches us, our efforts alone do not bring about the reign of God’s Kingdom. We have to wait for God to do the work.

Jesus invites us to a deep trust and faith that God is working in our lives to bring about the kingdom within us and amongst us. We alone cannot do it and, when we do, we merely frustrate ourselves (and others). God works quietly, sometimes mysteriously, slowly bringing about the kind of world God wants to see. God works quietly and slowly in us, transforming us to become more like Jesus.

The farmer does his part. He sows the seed. We are invited to do our part, which is to be open to God’s transforming work in us. We are open when we read the Scriptures and allow them to challenge us, when we listen to others – and often the uncomfortable things they say about us! – and take that to heart seeing it as an invitation to growth rather than simply being defensive. We are also open when we learn to read the signs of the times in our own lives and the world around us. What happens around us could be telling us something too. Then we are called to patiently allow God to work in us and around us.

In what ways do you need to be more open to God? What causes you to be impatient? Can you have faith to trust that God is at work in your life? Why or why not?

Lord Jesus,

In the parables you teach us how we can live healthier spiritual and emotional lives. Open my eyes today to see what sowing I need to do so that you can slowly work in me and through me. Give me the gift of patience as you transform me and the world so that all things become living signs of your kingdom.


Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
See more from Russell Pollitt SJ
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