Friday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
The parable of the patience
He said, “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 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. Mk 4,26-29
This parable, which the gospel presents to us today, may be called “the parable of the patience”. Jesus experienced it in first person throughout his entire public life. At the beginning, when he made his first miracle at the wedding in Cana, he will certainly have thought that his messianic message of salvation and he himself would have been greeted with joy by all the people. But this was not the case! Jesus early realized that the salvation of the world would have been built according to the times of God. Before there would have been something to pay: he would have had to die and end up under the ground, like the grain of wheat in the today parable. It is the prospect of the cross, which begins to take shape in him, but his faith, always more patient, and the absolute trust in the Father, will allow him to look ahead, to the resurrection and to the eschatological times of the history, as the farmer, while the grain of wheat is dying in the ground, sees already the ear turning yellow under the sun. This today parable is also the parable of the patience of the Church, especially the current one, in front of the subversion of the values of the life and of the family, and the aggressiveness of the Muslim world. “Act as if everything depended on you, knowing, however, that all depends on God” said St. Ignatius of Loyola. The power is all in the seed: it is God who makes it growing. The Church has only to bear the witnessing of the gospel, then “would sleep and rise night and day and 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”. This is also the parable of the patience of the family: of the parents towards their sons, but sometimes even of the sons to their parents. Today, unfortunately, there is a little patience within the family! The today’s parable is not, however, a sedative in force of which the parents can sleep in peace while their sons are out until the late hours of the night, or because they can remain calm when the parents divorce. It is a way to live with patience the reality of the things, having worked to assert the values of the Kingdom. Our personal experience teaches us that when there is faith and trust in the Lord, even if there is something to pay, the result is safe because it is in the hands of God, like the grain of wheat grows quiet underground.