He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. 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. All by itself the soil produces grain — first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)
I heard a homily on this parable once that the seed must rot before it can produce the plant. That image has stuck with me. I think about it sometimes when I watch the news. I see signs of rot. This parable reminds me not to become cynical, that rotting is part of the process toward harvest. Much of the important transformation in our lives and in our world is hidden.
I would want to worry about the seed, maybe check its progress. This sower doesn’t seem to know what happens in the dirt, but he knows that it happens. He treats the seed with faith. I imagine that God doesn’t just abandon the seed … there is irrigation, weeding, fencing, protecting the field from pests.
We work toward God’s Reign. Let us share God’s faith in the process. Something wonderful is coming out of all the unseen process. God certainly smiles in anticipation even when things seem rotten, knowing that something new is sprouting.
– Blog entry by Sister Terry Walter