GROWTH AND FRUITFULNESS

June 13, 2021 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061321.cfm)

Have you ever witnessed the actual growing of a seed, or any plant or of a person? We could have claimed that we have witnessed it just as parents looked closely as their child grows, or just as a farmer tends everyday his plants and animals. Yet, because growing is a process, it takes time and it’s very slow. That is why, we don’t usually see with our own eyes how a seed begins to sprout and becomes a tree, or how a flower begins to grow and bloom or how a person develops physically and grows old. We only notice the gradual changes as time also goes by.

Thanks to our latest technology because a camera can capture this process of growing particularly of a plant or changes that happen in our nature. Through a photographic technique called “time-lapse” we can witness how a seed begins to sprout, take its roots and come out from the soil and become a full bloom plant. This always amazes me to see that.

(I want you to watch this short time-lapse of a growing seed in silence to bring yourself also into reflection and into calmness in the midst of noise, stress and anxiety that are around us today.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyRw597JBVg

With this amazement and wonder of the process of growing, this brings me into reflection for this Sunday’s Gospel. Jesus tells the people about the two parables of the Kingdom of God. These are the parable of the seed scattered on the land and the mustard seed.

In these two parables, what is common among them is the theme of growth and fruitfulness. From here, I would like you to see and recognize how God is growing in us and inviting us to be fruitful.

I would like to begin with the parable of the mustard seed which brings us into the invitation of God to let us grow, to be mature and to develop. In fact, the first reading from the Book of Ezekiel has revealed to us how God would plant us so that we may become majestic and fruitful. Indeed, God allows growth and makes it possible for us to become what God wants us to be.

In this process of growing, we now understand GROWTH to be dynamic. It involves changes, adaptations, shedding off of what was old and transforming into something new. Meaning, growing is a transformation.

Thus, the parable tells us of the process of growth in a non-aggressive way because growth is gradual, silent and calm. Moreover, it is empowering and life-giving.

This reminds us of the wonder of creation. Creation is silent and relaxed, yet, destruction is noisy, distressful, aggressive and violent. In destruction, there is no growing because it suppresses and destroys. Surely, this is how we would find life distressful, filled with anxiety and worries, because when we do not grow or when we stop growing then, it leads us to destruction and to death.

God’s desire is that we develop into our full potential as what God desired us to be. We are called to continue growing no matter how our hair have turned into white or our wrinkles have become more visible.

Likewise, growing leads us towards maturity which also leads us to fruitfulness. The first parable of the seed scattered on the land which grew in silence and bore fruit, leads us into this invitation, MATURITY and FRUITFULNESS.

Remember, the man who scattered the seed did not know the entire process of the growth of the seed. The seed silently grew and became mature and bore fruit. This tells us how the Spirit of God works in our life silently. When we allow the Lord to work in us, then, God also make wonders in our life. God will surely transform us into persons that God desires us to be.

This tells us that the Kingdom of God is already in us because God is with us. The seed has been planted on earth as Jesus was born for us. The Lord is already in our hearts as we are being baptized. Moreover, the Kingdom of God manifests in us when we also become mature in our faith and relationships with God and with others.

How do we recognize that we have become mature? It is when we are able to give life to others, when we become persons for others. The seed produced grain for people to eat and the mustard seed became the largest of plants and puts forth branches where birds dwell in its shade.

Now, these are the signs as well as the invitations for us to recognize the Kingdom of God and to let God to grow in us.

First, as the mustard seed grows the Kingdom of God also begins in HUMILITY not in any form of aggression or arrogance. It is humble and simple. Thus, the kingdom of God can be very present in a family who makes the effort to pray together, in a couple who expresses their faithfulness despite their differences, in a person who shows true kindness and generosity to another who is in need of help, and of a neighbor who refuses to join in a gossip as his or her act of concern.

Second, the kingdom of God is empowering and life-giving.  The kingdom of God is present when our community empowers the weak. A community that discriminates, judges, condemns and indifferent never empowers but it oppresses the weak. However, when our community empowers, then it also gives life. Let us remember, to be able to give life, we need to give more chances and opportunities for growth. To give life is to give hope. Therefore, our community is truly a kingdom of God when we uphold and protect every life to survive and to mature.

As we recognize the Kingdom of God in us today, let us also allow the Lord to grow in us, to bring changes and transformation in ourselves, in our attitudes and relationships. As we continually grow and become mature, we may also become individually, a person for others and also a community for others that gives life, gives hope and allows opportunities for growth and maturity. Hinaut pa.

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