When Life Requires Us To Wait Patiently For The Unknown | Catholic Bible Study

by Faith & Life, Gospels

“Living is the infinite patience of always starting over.” Ermines Ronchi

A few days ago, I was listening to my friend Massimo and his mother discuss their gardens and vineyard. Much of it was lost on me but I was struck by one detail: they had to wait for the exact moment to harvest the grapes in order to make a good wine.

This year, in the vineyard of my life, something similar happened. I sowed seeds. I got up early to work the soil. I did my best to keep the weeds at bay. But in the end, the fruits were not those I had expected.

It always seems to happen this way: we can never be sure how things will turn out. This is the experience of every parent with his or her children. There are expectations, hopes, sometimes even prejudices, and yet somehow our children always seem to marvel us. It’s life that we can’t ever control, and life that we can never seem to plan ahead for.

It can even happen that we have sown a good seed, yet in the meantime, animals can come and devour the plant, drought can prevent it from receiving the necessary water. And yet, the seed we tried to plant was good.

As Jesus says, we only need to be concerned with two moments: the first is when we sow the seeds, and the last is the harvest, but in between there is only the unexpected, freedom and surprise. It’s this way for everything we do. Life is always immersed in a sea of indeterminateness.

On the other hand, what we can sow is always very little. The good that we can do always seems inadequate, if it is truly good. True love always leaves one feeling inadequate, wanting to give more, because when one loves, we always wish to give more.

Love always seems like such a little seed like the mustard seed of the Gospel. But it doesn’t matter. The fruit that it will come to bear only God knows. When the tree has grown large enough to give shade to others, we might not even be around anymore.

Love sows and waits patiently in the knowledge that it is God that makes things grow. Our expectations and our fears always put the plant in danger. And we ought to learn not only patience from the peasant but the confidence to start all over again when the harvest has not been what we had hoped for.

Questions for personal reflection:

  • How well do you accept the disappointing and fruitless moments in life?
  • Do you trust in God after having sown a seed and await its fruits?

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark (4:26-34) 

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

He said,“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Photo by Lua Valentia on Unsplash

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