Today’s Gospel presents us with a mystery. It is contained in the simple phrase: ‘how he does not know’. The farmer in the parable plants the seed and witnesses it sprouting and growing. Although he doesn’t understand how it is happening, he is grateful and he is ready when the crop is ready. He ‘loses no time’ when it comes to reaping the harvest.
Like the farmer, we are aware that life can be full of mystery. Events unfold all around us, and we do not understand how or why things happen as they do. Sometimes if we are in the middle of a difficult situation it can be very hard to make sense of it, just as it may also be difficult to see what the way forward might be. And yet when we reflect, when we look back, it can all seem to be clear, we might even ask why we were so worried.
When we look back sometimes we will see that what got us through was a particular person, maybe someone who gave us some time, or perhaps had an encouraging word for us. At the time it might have seemed to be insignificant, but with hindsight we can see that it did in fact make a difference.
At other times we will see where God has been at work in our lives, or perhaps who God was working through, speaking through, and in that way intervened, helped us in some way. And it is important to see how God is working in our lives, to see, and understand, that He doesn’t abandon us, that in fact He can’t abandon us.
Naming God’s presence can be difficult, so maybe what we need to do is to recognise our blessings, to be conscious of the good things that come our way, because when we do that then we will recognise where God has been active in our lives, where He has been present to us.
Jesus precedes this parable by saying: ’This is what the kingdom of God is like’. These parables of seed and growth remind us that God is at work in us and all around us, even when we are not aware of it. If we have patience and keep our eyes open, we might just be able to recognise God’s blessings in our lives, and to really appreciate them.