I started gardening recently. Nothing big, just a few tomatoes and peppers in the backyard, but the project itself often has me reflecting on growth—not just of the vegetables, but of myself too.
There’s something vulnerable about placing a seed in the ground, hoping that the work and love you put into it bears fruit. You can research and study all you want, but there is no way to really know things will turn out as planned. You just have to trust—and hope.
I’ve had similar thoughts with regards to the students I minister to, and imagine I will think similarly while I’m raising a family. I try my hardest to share the love of Christ and wisdom of the Faith, yet there is no way to know what is taking root and in whom.
For a control freak like myself, this practice of patient hope can be exhausting.
It would certainly be easier to buy cherry tomatoes from the grocery rather than wait for them to ripen, three at a time. And golly it is a dream to work with students who want to learn verses instead of ones who may barely show up to "fulfill their requirement."
But there is something satisfying and exciting about seeing the result of your dedication and work—even when that result is as tiny as a newly blooming jalapeño, or a student coming to an event after their grade had already been submitted.
An excerpt of this poem reads, “We plant the seeds that one day grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.”
We aren’t told that the man Jesus mentions in today’s Gospel knows that his seed will grow, or that the woman knows her dough will rise (see Luke 13:18-21), yet their actions, seemingly simple, are used to describe the Kingdom of God.
And keeping that in mind, I can’t help but wonder if my actions are contributing to the coming of the Kingdom and pray that I might wait with endurance in the hope that they are. (See Romans 8:24-25.)
This Catholic artist shares her botanical love, especially of Marian symbolism, in her art.
Sarah Rose is a small town Ohio girl who is obsessed with all things Ignatian and is passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She left Ohio in 2012 and after a year of service in rural Alaska, earning her Master of Divinity in California, and working at a Connecticut High School, is officially back in Ohio serving as a university Newman Campus Minister. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. She's a contributing author to our Advent devotional book, All the Generations. You can find out more about her here.