The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, yet when full grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.
- Matthew 13:31-32
There must have been a day in Stanley Rother’s life when his dad, Franz, first employed Stanley’s help to plant a wheat field on the farm near Okarche. There must have been another day when Stanley participated in his first harvest. The life of the farmer, Stanley Rother, surely brought a spiritual life to the parable of the mustard seed. On still another day, Stanley first cast the seeds of his faith upon the people of Santiago Atitlan. And most assuredly, he experienced the faith of those people casting their seed of faith upon him.
Today, on this feast of St Ignatius, just 54 days before his beatification, the mustard seed cast by Fr. Rother is probably the biggest plant in Oklahoma and in Santiago Atitlan. Anyone paying attention to this coming event is happy, inspired, excited and curious. And awestruck by his life and death.
On this day, a Rother Man reflects upon the seed he carries into the world where he shepherds. We may wonder where the seed will land, whether it will grow and bear fruit. It may be the first time for some of us that we consciously cast the seed of faith. Like Stanley’s first wheat field, the outcome is left to forces beyond our control. Yet we must first cast the seed. Then let God do the nurturing.