The kingdom of God is not a physical destination. In the kingdom, love is dominant. In it, we find peace from the trials and tribulations of the physical world. But we do not ‘get there’ as if it was like the shade under a very big tree. The kingdom of God is indeed like a tree but it is a tree that begins to grow from inside us. We do not have to ‘get to it’. It grows bigger as we grow older, leafier as we toil through life, and with lot more branches as our life intertwined with others.
The kingdom of God is like our own personal tree, unseen in our younger days but majestic in form as our journey in life nears completion. As a baby, instinctively, it is milk over grace. As we grow as a child we needed parental intervention more than divine intervention. Unless we see the need for God in life, we will never see the kingdom of God growing in us. For those who spend a lifetime not believing in God, they would never have seen the majestic tree that shaded them in life.
“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know”.
This tree begins as a tiny seed planted in each of us when we were born. “The seed is the word of God, Christ the sower; whoever finds this seed will remain forever”. The word of God are not chapters in a book. They are not branches of formation that we must pass like squirrels scurrying along to get to the top of a cedar tree. The kingdom of God is his love given generously and unconditionally to guide and protect us through the hard knocks in life. It is a love constantly poured to cool us into peace.
The growth of a majestic tree with a shade begins from a tiny seed.
From our own tree there are seed bearing fruits. Fruits produced in the intimacy of being embraced in the generosity of God’s love. Fruits that came in the form of blessings and interventions in our life. We all have seeds, many unique only to us. We are beckoned to be like Christ to sow our unique seeds. The beauty is that we are only ask to plant them, nothing more. It is a very simple calling. We plant, he nurtures, often using other people and other seeds like branches intertwined in a tree.
“Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come”.
Our seeds are unique because no one shares our individuality nor our personal situation in life, our unique place in this world. My parents simply planted the seed of baptism in me. We have many seeds we can sow telling about the story of the presence of this majestic tree that has provided shade for us in life: God’s loving presence.
We sow seeds when we share about an experience of God. We plant seeds when we deny our self and set out to repair a long broken relationship. We scatter our seeds when we are always affirming of other people because by doing so we allow God’s love to pass through. We dig the ground and plant when we have new ideas for a church ministry unsuspecting of how it will turn out because God does not burdened us with that. We are called only to plant our unique seeds; that he cannot do but the rest he can.
We are the kingdom of God because the tree lives in us. Our life is a seed that we can nurture into a majestic tree with shade that provide shelter for the many people who come along our way in life.
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time