We live today in a world where trust is a bad word, largely because there has been so much disappointment emanating from those in whom trust has been traditionally placed.
Broken marriages, dysfunctional relationships between children and parents, declining interest in the political, electoral, and judicial process, and greater credence to unchecked and unsanitised social media, are all results of that mistrust experienced daily.
The truth is that we belong to a generation that wants to see the results of our work immediately. We want to be productive and see the fruits of our labours with our own eyes.
But that is not the way of God’s Kingdom. Mark’s gospel today says, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know.”
Often, our witness to God does not lead to tangible results. For the rest of the world, Jesus Himself died as a failure on the cross. Still, the fruitfulness of Jesus’ life and sacrifice is beyond any human measure.
As faithful witnesses of Jesus, we are called to trust that our lives too will be fruitful, even though we cannot see their fruit. The fruit of our lives may only be visible to those who live after us, so what is important is how well we love God. God will make our love fruitful, whether we see that fruitfulness or not.
Undoubtedly, a lot of what we experience today is the result of seeds planted years ago. Crimes, whether white, black, or blue collar, are being committed not by aliens from another planet, but by our children, many of whom were baptised in our Catholic churches. The current disputes caused by differences along racial, political, class, and even geographic lines are the result of seeds sown many years ago.
And yet, in the midst of that, there is good fruit being harvested. One such example is the growing number of vaccinations that are becoming available to combat the debilitating effects of the coronavirus, and hopefully result in a reduction in its transmission.
Whereas previously, it would have taken many years for a vaccine to be approved, the work that was quietly being done over many years with similar viruses, has now caused scientists to come up with several vaccinations in much shorter order.
Many of those scientists are no longer with us today, having already transitioned to the great beyond, but today, we benefit from the seeds they planted.
Today, as we reap the fruits of their efforts, as we participate in our local vaccination plan, we are giving effect to God’s work in them.
Ours is the duty to plant trees in whose shade we will not sit, and whose fruit we will never taste. To do that is to trust in the process that God invites to today. What trees are we as Catholics willing to plant today in the soil that is Trinidad and Tobago? Moreover, are we prepared to trust God and God’s process?