Mk 4: 26-34




Both the first reading (Ezek. 17) and the Gospel today (Mk. 4) made me visualize God as a modern-day plantito (a trending Filipino term born of the lockdown experience, meaning plant-lover). Bored during quarantine, Filipinos turned their attention on a new hobby – gardening, and became plantitos and plantitas. In so doing they discovered a new way to relax by caring for nature and appreciating its beauty in their backyard.


Ezekiel describes God as an expert plantito who tears a branch, plants it and makes it grow into a mighty tree. God is the original green thumb! The Lord Jesus shares parables that show plants mysteriously growing independently of the farmer. It is God who gives life to plants and to the whole of creation.


I think there are two lessons we can learn from the Scriptures. First, there is the invitation to appreciate nature and our proper role in it. The pandemic made us realize how instead of being destroyers, we are called to be carers of our environment. We need to use our senses to lift our minds and hearts to God. Seeing plants, trees, and vegetation must lead us to praise the Lord who provides us with sources of life – oxygen, food, ornaments, shade, and protection.


For a long time we treated nature as an object to be used and exploited. Now we are beginning to see that God wants us to see nature as a partner in achieving our goals of joy, peace and progress.


Second, there is that reminder to value all of creation, but most specially our relationship with people. If with plants, we can be diligent, patient, creative, concerned and understanding, how can we not have the same attitude towards our brothers and sisters? Some people sing to their plants but yell at the members of their family or their house helpers.


Jesus portrays God as a farmer to show us how much love he invests in our lives. As we return his love, we can do this best by showing the same kindness towards nature and towards the people around us.


Let us care for nature; let us care for one another.