WORK ISN’T EVERYTHING
Few parables can provoke greater rejection in our culture of performance, productivity, efficacy than this small one in which Jesus compares God’s reign to the mysterious growth of the seed that bears fruit without the sower’s intervention.
This parable, so forgotten today, highlights the contrast between the patient awaiting of the sower and the irresistible growth of the seed. While the sower sleeps, the seed go about germinating and growing «on its own», without the intervention of the farmer and «without him knowing how».
Accustomed to value almost exclusively efficacy and performance, we have forgotten that the Gospel speaks of abundance, not of effort, since Jesus understands that the fundamental law of human growth isn’t work, but the welcome of the life that we go about receiving from God.
Today’s society pushes us so strongly toward work, activity, progress that we no longer perceive up to what point we are impoverished when everything is reduced to work and being efficient.
Indeed the «logic of efficacy» brings modern people to a tense and weighed down existence, to a growing deterioration of our many relationships with the world and with people, to an interior emptiness and that «syndrome of immanence» (Jose Maria Rovira Belloso) where God disappears little by little from the horizon of the person.
Life isn’t just work and productivity, but a gift of God that we need to welcome and enjoy with a grateful heart. In order to be human, a person needs to learn to be in life not only out of a productive attitude, but also a contemplative one. Life acquires a new and deeper dimension when we get it right about living the experience of the love of God that’s gratuitous, creative and dynamic.
We need to learn to live more attentive to all that is about gift in existence; awaken in our inner self thanksgiving and praise; free ourselves from the weighty «logic of efficacy» and open up a space in our life for what’s freely given.
We need to be thankful for so many people who bring joy to our life, and to not pass by so many landscapes that were made only to be contemplated. One savors life as a grace who lets self be loved, surprised by what’s good in each day, favored and blessed by God.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf