Home » Blog » 11TH SUNDAY B


11th Sunday in Ordinary Time B

There are many things in life over which we are helpless.  I always wanted to cultivate in my small garden the plant called “birds of the paradise” that normally grows in mountainous areas with fertile soil.  Many times I bought samples, or asked from friends, even picked this plant from the side of the road.  But when I planted them in Manila with its hot, unfriendly climate, it died.
Once I got another bunch and arranged them in a large plant pot.  It seemed the plant would wither. At times, it seemed to be able to survive.  I fertilized the soil, pruned the leaves, sang many songs to the plant.  I even prayed over and asked God’s intervention.  Then when I was not expecting anything to happen, the plant recovered and in fact started to grow its amazing flowers!
Nature teaches us that there are laws or forces around us that we cannot manipulate.  The rain will fall when the clouds are heavy.  The sun will rise no matter what storm rages above us.  Plants will grow when the conditions are right.  You tamper with nature and you get surprisingly harmful results in the end.
It is the same with human nature.  Many things happen beyond our control.  Many things unfold following their own process.  We just marvel how fast children grow.  We are surprised how much weight we have gained. We are shocked at wrinkles, weakness, sickness that suddenly manifest.
The first parable in today’s gospel precisely reveals to us this mysterious aspect of all life.  Ultimately, it is God who has the final word in everything.  The analogy of the plant is similar to my experience.  The farmer sows, waters and tends the soil.  But the growth happens not suddenly but slowly, not noisily but unnoticed.  Many things and events go through this process and we are simply amazed in the end. All the farmer has to do is wait and trust and appreciate the result.
God is in control of things and therefore we need to trust him more.  Yes we must do our best to attain our goals, to realize our intended results.  But it is the Lord who controls the destiny of the Kingdom and it is his will that we witness in awe how he works in our lives.  My doctor-friend muses that healing itself comes through the Lord’s power and not his own. He is a mere instrument who must allow himself to be led.
Are there moments when you want to see results immediately?  Are there times you want to change other people right away?  Are you tempted to fix things in the way you like?  We are control freaks.  But Jesus tells us to trust him and just allow him to work in his own mysterious way.  When we have done our part and just feel helpless about the result, then God will pick up from where we left off.
Let us always remember to take courage and do our best as St. Paul reminds us in today’s first reading.  Let us also remember to entrust everything into God’s hands and let his power flow in its own mysterious way.