I”LL say, let the seed flow from your hand into the welcoming soil and allow God’s nature to take its course. Trust that the seed will break in due time and will gradually bring out life. A branch, a leaf will suddenly appear. 

Wait for several more days and you’ll see it becomes a small plant standing upright, beaming with joy and excitement to grow bigger. It might just need some tender-loving-care—watering it lightly and cultivating the soil around it. Wait for more days and months and you’ll see it grow robustly. After all, it’s not just your doing that the seed broke open and turned into a teeming plant or tree. It’s the work of the One who created it, the source of all life. It’s God who often acts quietly in our lives and in the world. 

A few days ago, someone posted on Facebook a quote that goes like this:  “God’s plan is always the best. Sometimes the process is painful and hard. But don’t forget that when God is silent, He is doing something for you.” 

How true! We may not be aware of it, but God silently hears our sighs, listens to our desires, opens up to our plans, and in his prodigious love he grants us our wishes. We do the planning and engage ourselves in the details of doing, and God will take care of the rest. We’ll just have to trust and let go of our fears. Yes, we say a prayer or two, invoke the Intercession of our favorite saints, but ultimately we must surrender to God who is bigger than our dreams and vision! 

I can attest to God’s providence in the journeys I’ve planned. God has appreciated them, accompanied me, and kept me safe. He has respected my wishes and allowed them to come through. He has even surprised me with meeting amazing people along the road. 

This Sunday’s Gospel speaks of God’s reign. The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It’s the smallest of all seeds. But when it grows it becomes big that even the birds would take shelter onto it. Despite the evil things and the struggles that come our way, the reign of God never ceases to grow. It will never succumb to desperation for it has the power to defeat its enemies. 

We’ve seen its power in all ages, from the ancient times, from periods of war and famine, from civilization to civilization. God’s power can never be stomped, silenced, and defeated. It may be quiet for a while—that maybe what he wanted for a while—but it time his Kingdom will triumph. 

So let’s not succumb ourselves to cynicism and hopelessness. Let’s keep our dreams, our plans, and vision. Let the almighty power of God reign in our lives. Let him take over. We do our work and he does the rest. Amen.

* * *

From a Filipino immigrant family, Reverend Rodel G. Balagtas was ordained to the priesthood from St. John’s Seminary in 1991. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Augustine, Culver City (1991-1993); St. Martha, Valinda (1993-1999); and St. Joseph the Worker, Canoga Park (1991-2001). In 2001, he served as Administrator Pro Tem of St. John Neumann in Santa Maria, CA, until his appointment as pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Los Angeles, in 2002, which lasted 12 years. His term as Associate Director of Pastoral Field Education at St. John’s Seminary began in July 2014.

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