Our Gospel this week is Mark 4:26-34, taken today from the New International Version (NIV).

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.” Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

In this parable Jesus speaks of seeds as an example of how our faith can grow. Something small to begin with can become great, providing sustinence and protection. However, while we can be part of the process, we don’t make it happen, nor do we fully understand how it works.

Jesus tells us that like a seed, our faith may seem small but over time it can grow, with God’s help. Like seeds nurtured in the earth by sunlight and water, we grow in faith by water and the spirit and the light of His word. The apostle Paul writes “only God gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:7), reminding us that while we may tend the process, only our Creator can make it happen.

Are you tending your spiritual growth and that of others? God is always ready to help our faith become stronger. God provides what we need when we come to Him in love.

Heavenly Father, You are the source of life and growth. May we be fruitful in our discipleship, learning and growing and sharing Your love. Amen.

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