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Honeybee Homily

What if a honeybee had a vocation crisis? Picture Beatrice, a worker bee, leaving off her mundane tasks to make a plan from scratch. She hopes to go make a difference and be the change! What can she do that will serve the kingdom of God?

No amount of discernment would ever, ever result in the plan to go back to the life of a worker bee.

Making her nectar, the honeybee does not know that almonds and cherries have come into being as a byproduct. Making her honey, she does not intend for animal lives to be sweetened. Making her wax, she does not ponder how churches will be brightened.

Not only does the worker not know all the the fruits of her labor, but indeed she cannot conceive of the realm she affects.

It is simply not given to the honeybee to see how she transforms the world for the good.

You, also, are a honeybee. The duties you do routinely, the wounds you bear patiently, the work you undertake diligently, have effects totally beyond the scope of your vision. The holy desire you have to build the kingdom cannot illuminate for you all the ways in which you already do so.

You are the boy who came to Jesus with fishes and loaves; he did not know that Jesus could or would multiply his gift. The feeding of 5000 miracle is old news to us, but it was a complete surprise to him.

John Henry Newman wrote, "I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next." A later bishop developed the thought thus: "Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us...We provide the yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker."

So let us be more like God's honeybees, workers in a vineyard not our own. Let us trust that our humble toil will be be blessed, broken, and poured forth in the ways imagined by the

master, the one who makes all things new.

As we let go of our desire to engineer and evaluate the products of our labor, let us keep our eyes on the risen Lord. Let us devote ourselves not to success but to the teaching of the Apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. (Acts 2:42)

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