Dear Friends in Christ, for some weeks now we have been reflecting on the mysteries of God, precisely three Sundays ago we celebrated the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, two Sundays ago we celebrated the Mystery of the Trinity, and last week we focused on the second person of the Blessed Trinity in the Eucharist. Today, we are looking at the wonders of God and his Kingdom, how can we understand the ways of God from what he has revealed? Scripture gives us a very good source for this, God is mystery and his ways are mysterious, but very often he tries to reveal to us his intentions and ways. Today he uses something very familiar to us in explaining his wonders, he uses the act of cultivating. Both our First reading and Gospel of today is quite explicit in its description of how God achieve very great things through the small things we take for granted. In fact, if there is anything we must take home from today’s readings, it is the reassurance that the little things we take for granted are the important things. In our daily struggles it is the little acts of love and kindness that really matters.
Rose Kennedy it was who said: “Our life is lived in moments not in milestones,” and so our focus should be our moments for no milestone is achieved without the moments. If we are sincere with ourselves, we will admit seeing how so many little seeds sown has grown today to yield good harvest, no one has ever seen a tree grow, its growth is too slow for the human eye to perceive, has anyone ever seen a child grow? Living things grow slowly, so many parishes we have today in our Dioceses and Archdioceses started off as a small group with few families and today have grown mightily, the Church too grows slowly because it is a living organism, St Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians testified to this when he noted, “I Planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth” 1 Cor. 3:6.
The Chinese bamboo tree is said to be one of the strangest seeds in the world, when planted, it remains buried for five years before any seedling sprout. But then once the emerges from the ground, it grows to a height of 90 feet in just six weeks. During the five years in the soil, the Bamboo seed cultivates an elaborate root system that enables it reach such a milestone in six weeks. The early Church faced lots of persecution with so many Martyrs, Tertullian it was who said, the blood of Martyrs is the seed of Christianity. The age of Martyrdom is responsible for the greatness of the Christian faith today, despite all of its challenges, Christianity still does a lot in the world. She is rooted on these bloods. This is what St. Paul in our second reading tries to address, when talking about making the choice of staying with the Lord over being with the body, all of our aim should be pleasing the Lord because it is only in the Lord that we will be rooted, we must learn to walk by faith and not by sight.
Again, it is not in the mighty deeds that we do but the little ones, like the grain of mustard seed that becomes the greatest shrubs with large branches and serving many purposes. Dear Friends in Christ, many a time we run into big problems for two reasons, first of all we do not have faith in starting small, we do not believe that it is the small things and efforts we take for granted that matters. Secondly, we fail to realize that it is God that gives the growth. We make a superman out of ourselves and think we can fix things our own way. Our Nation is near chaos simply because many of us are already forgetting that it is the little acts of selflessness, little acts of respect and regard for the other person, the little acts of love and consideration for the weak, the marginalized, the poor, those without a voice that helps in Nation building. And not the huge National budget, the economic policies, financial policies, strength of the military etc. Psalm 33:16-17 sings to our ears: “A King is not saved by his army, nor a warrior preserved by his strength, a vain hope for safety is the horse, despite its power it cannot save.
” We also think in Nigeria, we can fix our problems ourselves, we can grow all by ourselves, we can break into smaller nations and our problems will automatically disappear. We do not even care what it will cost us, even if it means going to war. Of course, after so many innocent peaceful lives, who were not invited to the round table to declare the war must have been lost, too many people dying of hunger and fear of the unknown and hatred continues to breed and raise its rotten heads with smiles at us. We must resist fixing the problem our own way but ask the Lord to fix us, we must resist every form of violence and insist on dialogue. We must insist on transparency. But then let us begin from the little things that matters, from our families, how do we handle domestic misunderstandings, from the Church, our places of work. What do we do with the kindness we are meant to offer, the warmth of love, the care and the nurturing? What is our root system like? Let us get rooted in the Lord, in the littlest seemingly insignificant things that we may blossom and grow to be a support system for one another, so that even in our old age we will still bear fruits, be full of sap and be green. God has given us everything we need to excel and grow unto greatness; the question is do we trust him enough to allow him cultivate us?