In the barren setting of a late January in the Upper Midwest, it is good to hear Mark’s Gospel comparing the mystery of the growth cycle to the Kingdom of God. The Gospel writer notes, “the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” As I stare out across the brown bare land, pock marked only by the sporadic white patch of snow, it is indeed a mystery that seeds deep beneath the frozen subsoil lie in wait. Although I have experienced the return of spring many times around now, as I stare out the frozen paned glass of my office window, I am incredulous to its present promise.

And so it is with me, with us: when will new life return? Are there seeds within my own heart, lying in wait? This question alone consoles my winter weary soul. For Mark reminds us, “of its own accord the land yields fruit.” Always. Every year, without fail. Our winter may yield its grip soon, or perhaps longer we know. And the first sign of new life close behind. And so it is with me, with us. The Kingdom of God unfolds in due time, in due season. Always. Every year, without fail. We wait in trust.

—Matthew Couture is the assistant for secondary and pre-secondary education for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuits. Matt and his wife Bridget live in Chicago and have two children.