We last spoke of growing fruit trees and being thankful to God for the first harvest. God provided the seed, the soil, the sun and the rain to make the fruit trees produce fruit. Paul uses a similar analogy in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 3. Evidently there was some arguing going on in the community about who baptized whom, who was a follower of which apostle, etc. And Paul uses the analogy of farming to make his point.
"What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe -- as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor" (1 Corinthians 3:5-8).
Paul's point is that we labor with God to make things grow whether they are crops in the field, trees in the orchard or people in the Kingdom. We play our part, but it is God who gives the growth. Therefore, whatever our role is we should not boast as if we have done it on our own. Whether we see them or not, we have co-laborers in Christ. We may plant a seed one day and water seed sown by someone else the next. We may not even know that we are planting or watering, or nourishing or providing sunshine. Those jobs may go unnoticed and seemingly unrewarded while the one who harvests gets all the credit. But it is God who makes things grow.
For Reflection: Have I taken credit for another's work? Have I been discouraged because I don't see my work as unimportant?
Let us pray. "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the Lord (Jeremiah 9:24).
For the times when I have taken credit for your work, God;
For the times when I have taken credit for someone else's work, God;
For the times when I have been disappointed and discouraged in my own work, God;
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I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.