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How do the mysteries of the Kingdom actually work, grow, flourish? Jesus tells us that it is like the farmer who marvels at the growth: “he knows not how.” Jesus says, “It is like a mustard seed.” The smallest of seeds bringing forth this large bush.Each of us could ask, “How will this work out as I live my Baptism?” Or, what about real life – everyday questions such as, “How is my marriage going to work out?” “How am I going to cope with the conflicts at work?” “How am I going to work through my aging and have enough money for my retirement?” Or, “How am I going to face this discernment or that decision?” Or, “What are the blessings and graces by which I’ll become less self-centered and less impatient and judgmental, and more of a reconciler and healer?” Or, “Will I go ‘all in’ with Jesus and hear the cry of the poor, in my life, and work toward making a difference? And, how will that grace happen in me?”What’s moving in me is that I don’t need to “know everything – every mystery;” I just need to “trust.” When I think of something at work, like an ambitious plan for Padua, I shape a path and then I remain open to it when it arrives. I make steps along it – not confused or reluctantly, but confidently and joyfully. I trust that the little things I do matter, and trust that God will do the rest. This is very powerful. What God needs from me and all of us is a little trust and an open and cooperative heart. This is really insightful and consoling leadership. It contrasts with my too often skeptical and jaded approach. It really contrasts with any form of self-pity which freezes out grace. It contrasts with reluctance born of comfort with the way things are. When I first came to Padua, people were very resistant to any change, much preferring the tried and true ways of the past. But trust and a cooperative heart anticipate God’s creative goodness, certainly in the darkest and most discouraging times, and also in the day to day. Day to day receptivity to grace is transformative. It sees what I don’t see when I’m crabby. It hears hurt and pain in others, who before had only driven me “bonkers.”God does really care about each of us. He really does desire unity and the “harvest” that comes from our working at little acts of love and heroic sacrifices for the sake of those most in need. All we need to do is remember God’s desire and trust that we simply need to cooperate with God’s graces and trust in the outcome.Like you, I am not naive about how difficult it will be to overlook all of the people who are seemingly not trusting and cooperating. I’m not unaware that sometimes “enemies” are sowing “weeds” in “my” field to frustrate the harvest. I just know that trusting God is better than not. I know that trusting more completely leads me to the desire to fall into the hands of a loving God – no matter what. We are all leaders – but first we must be followers – followers in our Lord’s Harvest Fields.

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