Buried deep in each of us are our experiences of life. Some are from events that occurred, others from deeds or even words of people in our life. Like the trinity in Thai flavours, they are sweet, sour, and spicy. Not always happy, some leave us stewing in bitterness. Who we are on the outside is not always who we are inside. We are graced with courage to bravely continue to live life as best as we can.
“The seed is the word of God, Christ the Sower; whoever finds this seed will remain forever.” (Today’s Gospel Acclamation)
Experiences shape our life, they lend direction. Some that leaves us bitter will lead us deeper into our inner self and entombed us, snuffing out the oxygen of love, making us live life without the light of hope. In this spiritual darkness, we stew until grace lead us to find this seed that had been sown in us since our beginning. This seed is to lead us through life. The word of God is the unconditional love that germinates our experiences in life.
“Jesus said to the crowds: ‘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. 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.’” (Gospel)
We will spend a lot of time in the soil of our inner selves. In our heart, there are reactions and responses to everything that life throws at us. We surrender, we stay our ground in defiance. But the seed works in us in ways we do not know, nor comprehend. It takes root in these experiences. And by grace it pushes out above the soil like young, green shoots of growth and new life.
Last Friday, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, and in the reading, this grace is granted so that we “be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God”.
We are never left alone in our inner turmoil as this love of Christ seeks us out. This seed is busy sprouting and growing. Like a comforting balm, this love seeks out our wounded past for healing to prepare us for moving on. It prepares us for forgiveness, to comprehend that the love of God is always forgiving. We cannot let go, not because God does not forgive, but we cannot accept this forgiveness mainly because we falsely believe we are guilty or unworthy. We must forgive ourselves. Only then can we start to push through the soil and sprout like green shoots.
Like a green shoot, they appear on the ground seeking new life, new direction. Green shoots seek to know more of the God they encountered in their inner selves. Life experiences are catalysts for people to seek baptism or return to Church. But as church we must remember that they are fresh out of the soil and are therefore fragile and vulnerable. As church we must be sensitive in responding to their desire to want to know more and more about the kingdom of God. As church, we are the people expression of the love of God. So, we as church must put out big branches so that green shoots can find shelter in its shade.
The kingdom of heaven wants to sprout from among us. In each of us is a seed waiting its turn to become a green shoot, and eventually as disciples to be the big trees. We each have our time in life, a season to grow, and to become. We are meant for one another. This is the passage of life, our life through experiences, together, as seed, green shoot, and tree.
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2021