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God does so much with so astonishingly little

seed, root, plant

Karolina Grabowska | Pexels

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 08/15/22

The seed of faith may be so small we can barely see it. But when we let it take root, it grows into something incredible.

Sometimes faith seems to fall short, and we’re left grasping for hope in God. We may question whether God truly has good plans for our future, if his grace will really be sufficient.

In those moments, I try to remember that very little faith is needed for God to work. With only a tiny bit of faith, God can work miracles.

This was brought home to me so powerfully at my recent training course for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS). 

I fell in love with this beautiful method of religious education when my children took part in it last year. 

The idea is that a specially prepared space is set aside for children to pray and grow close to Jesus. The children engage in an age-appropriate lectio divina, using physical works to meditate deeply on Scripture.

I saw that CGS was a great gift to my family, and I wanted to share it with other families, too. So I began the fairly intensive training course to become a catechist with CGS.

The course has been every bit as life-giving and beautiful as I hoped it would be. I can’t express how profound it feels to hear the Gospel message explained in simple terms appropriate for a preschooler. 

I’ll admit I’ve teared up more than once hearing the Gospel presented in this way. It’s as though I am hearing it for the first time, when I hear it explained with the simplicity and poignancy that a small child would understand.

One of my favorite moments of the course was last weekend, when we learned about the parable of the mustard seed. You know the one.

Jesus, teaching his disciples, tells them that the Kingdom is like a mustard seed. When planted, the mustard seed is among the smallest … But the Lord says, “once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.” 

To illustrate the point, each of us students was given a mustard seed to hold. Seeing one in person was astonishing. They are much smaller than I realized! Each one was the size of a pinprick, smaller than the tip of a ballpoint pen. 

As I held the mustard seed on the tip of my finger, I marveled at it. Its nearly microscopic size underscored the powerful message of the Bible passage. 

I couldn’t help thinking of my own faith, my own struggles, and my own hope in God’s providence. I stared at the seed and thought, “You only need this much faith. Barely large enough to see. That’s all God needs to work.”

A minute later, a gentle breeze from the open window blew the seed off my finger. But even this seemed to highlight how small and fragile it was, helping me reflect on the parable.

The seed of faith may be so small we can barely see it. We may hardly even know if it is still there. But when we let that seed of faith take root in our hearts, God makes it grow into something big and wonderful. When we give him just that tiny seed, somehow, he works miracles.

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