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Growing in Understanding

What would you call the opposite of a green thumb?—because I have that. My mom gave me a cute little cactus for my college dorm room freshman year… and I killed it. I attempted to start an herb garden this summer, and those died too. Gardening and I do not mix. We are literally a deadly combination.

And so, as I read the Parable of the Sower that Jesus shared in the Gospel today (Mark 4:1-20), I couldn’t help but chuckle. You see, I would be similar to those who needed further explanation from Him about what exactly He was talking about. I’d probably get hung up on irrelevant questions like “how deep is deep enough,” in regards to planting so that roots can grow. I’d have questions about how the thorns choke a seed—does the seed start to take root, or does it just never have a chance?

I would be lost. I would get sidetracked. I would miss the point. I would be the reason Jesus had to explain everything all over again in laymen’s (or rather, laywomen’s) terms. (Thank goodness for a patient, merciful God, amiright?)

I sometimes need to remind myself that asking questions is not a bad thing. It means I am interested and I am listening. I am genuinely trying to learn and to grow (pun intended). I tell my students that there is no such thing as a stupid question so long as they are honestly looking to learn, and Jesus does the same today. Instead of shaming those seeking clarification, He expands on the parable and works to help them understand.

Do not be afraid to ask questions, Sisters. We cannot grow in our understanding of the mystery of God if we do not seek to learn more about what God’s mystery holds.

Ask Him; beseech Him; talk to Him from your heart today in prayer.

Sarah Stanley is a small town Ohio girl who is mildly obsessed with all things Ignatian and is very passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She recently earned her Master of Divinity and now serves as the Director of Christian Service at a high school in New England. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, travel, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. You can find out more about her here.

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