Saint Mark Daily Lenten Devotional – March 5, 2015
by James John Bemberg
Scripture: Mark 4: 21-34
As a small child, I was fascinated with my grandmother’s extensive porcelain bird collection. Each bird accurately depicted the fine details of its real life partner whether in a brightly colored finish like the flashy red-orange of the male cardinal or the matte finish of the female.
I identified with the female: unassuming, timid, “hiding my lamp.” My strict mother and grandmother raised me and I was “hushed” more often than not. I had no friends. My parents were called by the kindergarten teacher for a conference to discuss my lack of social skills.
God intervened and started sowing some “friend” seeds when I joined Cub Scouts. This was short-lived since we lived on the “wrong side of the tracks” and we were friends only on Scout days. I wanted so much to be like the male cardinal so I excelled in school with all A’s.
Confirmation classes started and I heard for the first time about “not hiding your light under the bowl or bed.” I also heard, “A man scatters seed on the ground…the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.”
The day of Confirmation graduation came and my parents gave me a pair of cufflinks that contained two mustard seeds. It all became clear: “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
My life had come full circle. I knew then as I do now, why I had/have such an affinity for birds. The drab becomes shiny, the timid becomes strong and God gives us faith to withstand all that happens to inherit His Kingdom.
Prayer: I know God keeps His eyes upon the sparrow just as He keeps His eyes upon me. Amen.