2 Corinthians 5:6-10
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”
“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.
Good News Reflection: God is calling you this week!
This week, something is going to happen that will give you the opportunity to touch someone’s life with God’s love. Watch for it.
If you consciously choose to make the most of the situation, you might feel challenged, perhaps a bit nervous or intimidated, but you will experience the joy of making a difference for the kingdom of God. And you might be surprised at how well you do!
God has been preparing you for this situation for a long time. Your trials, your spiritual education, your personal purification process, your prayer-time insights, your Christ-centered conversations with others — all these and more have been part of the preparation.
You are like the seed in this Sunday’s Gospel passage. Life’s circumstances have fertilized you, watered you, and tilled your soil. Over time, the seed sprouted, the plant grew, and the flowers began to produce good fruit.
Every day, we all encounter small and sometimes large opportunities to serve the kingdom of God. We don’t have to be full-time volunteers nor paid employees of the Church to work in the mission of Christ. If we are willing, he touches the world through us in our homes, our workplaces, our parishes, in the grocery store, in the traffic tie-ups, on the Internet, and everywhere we go.
Have any of your seeds sprouted into a tree that withered from neglect or got chopped down by others? This happens to all of us. The good news is: In every dead tree at least one fruit remains, shriveled up and barely hanging from a lifeless branch, but secretly holding a very valuable seed.
We are to take those ugly, dead fruits and plant them in the freshly tilled soil of today. A new tree will grow and it will become taller and stronger and more abundantly fruitful than the tree from which it came, because the decay from the original tree is now additional fertilizer in the soil.
In everything that happens to you, remember: You have good fruits to share; God has been nurturing their growth. You are ready!
Questions for Personal Reflection:
What are some of the ways you have grown in your faith? How can this help others? Realizing that the good fruit that come from your growth is Jesus working through you to make the world a better place, how do you feel about this?
Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
Describe various ways that we continue the mission of Christ in our ordinary lives. What produces new growth in us so that we become more useful to Christ?
Help me, Lord, to find You in the little things You show me every day. In them, You also make your Church grow inside me from the seed you planted in me on the day of my baptism. Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica