Study: Recall a time of profound change and growth in your life. What helped you become better?
Pray: Ask the Lord for the grace to face difficult challenges and embrace them.
Serve: Who in your life is confronting change right now? How can you help them?
First, let’s take a quick summary of the key themes in the readings this week:
- 1st Reading – The Lord plants a tree in Israel
- Psalm – “Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.”
- 2nd Reading – We aspire to please God, whether at home or far away
- Gospel – Jesus offers the parable of the mustard seed
Now that June is in full swing the color green is flourishing across the upper Midwest. Summer delights the eye with growth and life, and from my view along the shore of Lake Superior this is most evident in the beauty of trees.
I have walked Wisconsin forests my entire life, and I find a peace and serenity among the grandeur and power of trees. They anchor the soil, provide habitat for wildlife, shade for the weary, and a renewable resource for humanity’s handiwork.
Yet for the majesty of trees, they all start small – from a pine cone or an acorn, a “helicopter” seed or a shoot – massive trees have humble, tender beginnings.
Just like our faith.
We know from our own experience that all good things take time and effort to develop; growth and change occur through new encounters. The process reminds us of two key points:
- We have daily opportunities to grow. Every day provides new ways for us to develop the gifts and talents God has given.
- We are works in progress. While we might lament that we are not where we want to be, we can face the challenges before us with the grace of Christ
In the first point we recognize opportunity and growth; in the second point we face obstacles with hope that these challenges will teach us new insights. Growth and change are part of life. What’s more, this change almost always begins from a small and humble beginning.
Where in your life do you have opportunities to grow? Where do you see challenges that will require new ways of thought and action? Take time to seek the Lord – to start small like a little seed – and grow in these moments into a new creation, guided and empowered to become more fully alive.
Now matter where we are in the journey of faith, may we open our hearts to God’s grace as we grow in faith, hope, and love as disciples of Jesus Christ!