A few years ago I tried my hand at some basic vegetable gardening, but the few meager zucchini blossoms that sprouted quickly withered, and the remaining few were eaten by the resident groundhog. The next year my daughter wanted to try again. I said it wasn't worth the effort; we should plant something that could adapt to our poor soil conditions.
I wonder if that's similar to what Jesus had in mind in today's Gospel when he said, "the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit." Will God approach my spiritual anemia the way I approached my weak zucchini plants, by finding someone more worthy? It's so easy to recognize the faults of the chief priests and Pharisees Jesus was addressing in Matthew's Gospel but so difficult to recognize the faults he is addressing in my own life right now. Am I producing good fruit with the resources God has provided, or do I run the risk of losing it all?
That's a frightening project, and yet I believe our God is far more merciful toward me than I could ever be to my fledgling plants. God continues to give me second chances, to trust that at some point I'll get the message: it's not enough just to show up. We have to reach for the Light. We have to blossom. We have to withstand threats from the outside and adapt to the plot of land God has chosen for us, rocky soil and all.
Reflected by Mary DeTurris Poust
Mary DeTurris Poust is the author of Everyday Divine: A Catholic Guide to Active Spirituality and several other books on Catholic spirituality. A columnist, blogger, and public speaker, she writes regularly at www.notstrictlyspiritual.com