Wednesday, September 3, 2014

“We all grow. We're made to grow. You either evolve or you disappear.”

“When you find yourself in need of spiritual nourishment, it is in the opportunities to serve others that you will find the abundance you seek.”

Scripture text: (1 COR 3:1-9)
Brothers and sisters,
I could not talk to you as spiritual people,
but as fleshly people, as infants in Christ.
I fed you milk, not solid food,
because you were unable to take it.
Indeed, you are still not able, even now,
for you are still of the flesh.
While there is jealousy and rivalry among you,
are you not of the flesh, and walking
according to the manner of man?
Whenever someone says, “I belong to Paul,” and another,
“I belong to Apollos,” are you not merely men?

What is Apollos, after all, and what is Paul?
Ministers through whom you became believers,
just as the Lord assigned each one.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused the growth.
Therefore, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,
but only God, who causes the growth.
He who plants and he who waters are one,
and each will receive wages in proportion to his labor.
For we are God’s co-workers;
you are God’s field, God’s building.

What does growth look like? Well, it depends on whether you’re talking about mutual funds, urban sprawl, weeds in the garden, or children. And then there’s the question of growth in our spiritual lives, which can be even more difficult to gauge!

Yes, the seed of faith that was planted in you at baptism is watered throughout your life: by your family and friends, by various priests and religious, and by the stories of the holy men and women who have gone before you. But what does that seed’s growth look like?

For one thing, it can look like a snake shedding its skin as you leave behind old habits, thought patterns, or relationships. It can leave you feeling exposed. You may be sad about what you’re letting go of or afraid of what comes next. But the newness of what emerges is fresh and exhilarating. It offers you hope and a future replete with God’s life!

Growth can also look like the transformation that a caterpillar undergoes in the quiet darkness of a cocoon as it becomes a butterfly. The Holy Spirit works deep in your heart, changing you into something beautiful before the Lord. It requires patience and acceptance, perhaps, of a life temporarily less full of activities and recognition. And yet such times are essential.

Growth can also be like the almost imperceptible increase in the girth and height of a tree, as you stay faithful to the words, commands, and life God has revealed to you.

Whatever your current mode of growth looks like, you can be sure that it also includes the growth and development of roots, which sink deeper and anchor you more securely to the Lord. Strong, healthy roots allow you to absorb God’s life more fully.

So ask the Lord to help you grow. Every time you receive Communion, ask Christ, who lives in you, to nourish you. Ask him to give you direction for your day or new insight into his love. As you kneel in adoration, let Jesus open your eyes, just as he did for the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Let him give you deeper and deeper roots in his love and his word.

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