Mustard blooms everywhere
"There is no such thing as a weed." We quoted in unison as we reminisced stories about our agronomy and horticulture professors from our college days. "They are nothing less than plants growing in an undesirable location."
The quick trip down memory lane followed a wonderful story of the Franciscan friars' use of mustard seeds dropped along the way to make the Camino Real path a visual Golden Road between the California Missions.
Couple the friars' practice with the parable of the mustard seed in scripture and we have an amazing metaphor for our Christian existence.
No person is a weed. How many of us have felt like we just are not planted in the right place to flourish? Or, perhaps, we are flourishing despite the world around us, just like the enduring mustard plants growing along the roadsides of California. From the parable, it is difficult to imagine how such a tiny amount of faith can move mountains. Yet, as you look around at the golden road, you are in awe of a handful of friars who moved about the land with no support system, no hope of returning to family or friends, with only their faith in the Lord to provide what they needed to win souls for Him. It makes for great lessons for 4th graders across the state but is even more valuable for meditation before the blessed sacrament.
From just a few seeds, every spring there is a flush of gold reminding everyone of the tenacious friars who walked the land over 200 years ago. I wonder if the Padres knew how their practice would someday coat the land and serve as a living reminder of everyone's faith journey. I'm sure they had no idea but simply trusted God would do with them what he willed.
Saint Junipero Serra, pray for us.