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Pastoral Associate’s Corner 6.16.2024

The Smallest of All Seeds

by Liz Willman Pastoral Associate for Adult Faith Formation

I am not a father as in “pastor” and I am certainly not a biological father! So why am I writing this column? While Fr. Gary is away, he invited me to take this opportunity to share with you my reflection on this Sunday’s Gospel.

Our Gospel passage from Mark tells of the mustard seed – the smallest of all seeds – that is sown in the ground but springs up and becomes the largest of plants. I love the idea that all of us are called to sow elements of our Catholic Faith to those we encounter in our daily lives. The smallest act, done with love can later sprout into something much bigger for that other person.

With this reading falling on Father’s Day, I want to give a nod of appreciation to all of our dads, grand dads and father-in-laws in our Ascension community. I have fond memories of my own dad and the way he approached life with such joy and humor while raising 8 kids.

I think of my husband, Jim, who continues to be an outstanding dad to our two adult children – and their spouses. I especially appreciate the years when we were raising our kids and the approach he took to fatherhood of creating expectations, limits and consequences but all wrapped in love. He was a constant presence in their lives.

Last summer, our son Andrew and his wife had a son – James Andrew. The immense love I felt immediately upon seeing my new grandson was like nothing I had ever experienced. We travelled to Phoenix for the birth (yes Phoenix, last July, when it was 118 degrees!) A few months later we traveled back to Phoenix for a visit. I had to smile when I picked up my grandson to take him for a diaper change and my son said, “Here mom, I’ll go with you to show you how to do it.” To watch my son care, love and interact with his wife and son fills my heart in a way I was not expecting.

Of course, the ultimate Father is our God. How fortunate we are that He has invited us into relationship with Him!

So plant those small mustard seeds in daily life and then step back as God creates beauty beyond compare.