It is good for us to take rest from our busy schedules and to reflect on our life, to take stock of what we did during the past weeks, months and years, to assess the directions we have been going, and to compare our past, the current directions, and our anticipated future with the values of the Gospel and with our calling as Christians. This is what the readings of today are inviting us to do.
Saint Paul presents powerful images of change in today’s reading from his first letter to the Corinthians. First he reminds the church in Corinth and us that life, as it is, is not the ultimate destination and our goal should not be to primarily focus on the world and what is important for us today. He compares our life to a kernel of wheat, which was created to change, which has the potential to grow into something magnificent, that we cannot even imagine, bearing plentiful fruit. Thus, we should not hold on to what we treasure and enjoy today but to let go, or, to say it in Paul’s words, to “die”. This enables us to reach our full potential as individuals, families and church. Only then will the “corruptible” become “incorruptible,” the “dishonorable” become “glorious,” the “weak” become “strong,” and the “natural” become “spiritual.”
These words are abstract and it is necessary to contemplate what this means for us in concrete terms. For example, we may be quite content with our work and relationships and other aspects of our life. The reading of today challenges us to evaluate these aspects and to come up with more appropriate and new ways for our lives that are bringing us a step closer to what we and our life ought to be. Or, our faith communities may be pleased with their liturgies and service ministries. These may have become dear traditions to us but may be quite imperfect and not addressing important aspects of Christian life and service. By reflecting over our worship and involvement with the wider community we may identify imperfections and gaps and be able to address these, thus, getting a step closer to reaching our potential.
And such reflection and the resulting steps should be inspired by the Gospel. Christ uses the parable of the sower. The seed is the Word of God and we are the more or less receptive ground, the ones who more or less receive and live the Word of God. Our faith may be weak, without roots, may be choked by anxiety and the pleasures of life. The Word of God is not able to inspire and transform us. Or, we may be like the ones “who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance." The Word of God encourages reflection and motivates action, thus, bringing us closer to reaching our potential as individuals and as church.
Let us not be satisfied with our current faith and life as it is.
Let us be inspired by the Word of God and be open for change, willing to “die,” and to come up with concrete steps that bring us closer to reaching our Christian potential as individuals, families, and church.
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