I just love the following verse in our first reading today from the Letter to the Hebrews, “You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.” Living in a world that preaches instant gratification and multi-tasking, it becomes difficult to develop the patient endurance to pursue and respond to the will of God in our lives. In our Gospel, Jesus uses the parables of sowing grain in the field and the growth of the mustard seed into a large plant as examples of the patient endurance that is necessary to bring the “Kingdom of God” into the world around us.
Few people in today’s world can relate to the example of farming or gardening as a parable for their spiritual life. The cyclical nature of fertilizing the ground, sowing the seed, providing the sun and rain to bring growth, and harvesting the fruit when it is ripe takes time and patience. Most would rather go the store and buy the already harvested fruit, enjoying the delicious taste produced by the labor of others. While that may work for our daily nutrition, it doesn’t meet our spiritual needs to live in the Kingdom of God.
The question becomes what is the Kingdom of God and why should we want it? The Kingdom of God is not something we can buy or consume. The Kingdom of God is our ultimate purpose for living. We were created out of love for the purpose of loving God and our neighbor. In the saving act of Jesus, his passion, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Kingdom of God was brought to earth and offered to us freely. The Kingdom of God is our only path to complete happiness and joy. We spend our entire earthly life seeking happiness and joy. Yet we are never completely satisfied. That is why we should want to seek and live in the Kingdom of God.
How do we obtain and remain in the Kingdom of God? By seeking “communion with the Holy Trinity.” First, seek to obey the greatest of all commandments. Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and body. Thank Him for our daily blessings in silent prayer. Next, grow closer to Him by reflecting on His Word and receiving the graces of the Sacraments. Finally. ask for guidance in using the gifts we receive from the Holy Spirit to grow in virtue and serve others. Do these three things today. Then, do them again tomorrow. And again, the next day. Slowly but surely, you will develop the patient endurance necessary to live everyday in the Kingdom of God.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
Will you allow the seed of God's word to take deep root in your life and transform you into a fruit-bearing disciple of Jesus Christ?