Posts Tagged ‘seed’

May You Attain Full Knowledge …

June 18, 2017

“May you attain full knowledge of God’s will through perfect wisdom, and spiritual insight. Then you will lead a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to Him in every way. You will multiply good works of every sort and grow in the knowledge of God. By the might of His glory you will be endowed with the strength needed to stand fast, even to endure joyfully what ever may come, giving thanks to the Father for having made you worthy to share the lot of the saints in light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son.” Colossians 1:9-13

This passage from scripture is the opening lines of encouragement from the Apostle Paul, who was writing to the Colossians, along with Timothy who was traveling with Paul. What comes before this passage though is subtle, but noteworthy. Paul recognizes Epaphas, who he recognizes as a ” fellow servant”, or disciple of Christ. What is also important to note here is that there is no recorded point in time where Paul ever actually went to Colossea. Instead, Paul taught the true faith to Epaphas, who converted, learned and then took that seed of faith and returned home to Colossea, and spread it through the countryside converting the people and passed that faith to the people and the future saints who lived there.

So, you say to yourself, great ! So what does that mean for us here ? Glad you asked !

It is important because Paul did not have to go and hold the hand of Epaphas in order to pass on the light of faith and the Word. Paul had faith in the seed he planted. It really had little to do with Epaphas. Although, Epaphas did have an open heart, and believed the Word when he heard it. Paul trusted that Word would spread. Just as Jesus, entrusted the twelve apostles, who in and of themselves were not perfect, did not always have perfect faith, but still trusted in the seed of faith that they were given..

This idea of having the pure seed of faith being transmitted to others in a sometimes imperfect manner is pretty much how it goes. This should give us encouragement in the faith that we have received and to participate more fully in the charge that we are given to pass on this faith as Epaphas did. We don’t have to do it perfectly, we just have to do it. We also don’t need the sledgehammer approach, where we are pounding the seed into the skull of the person receiving it… All we have to do is plant the seed, and walk away.

We have to have faith that the seed we plant, is what God will use for His will. The seed that is planted, will not always bloom before our eyes. We may never get the opportunity to see the results of the seeds we plant. We must trust in God. We must trust that the Lord will use the seeds we plant in the continuum of His divine will.

The beginning of this passage says “may you attain full knowledge of God’s will through perfect wisdom and spiritual insight…” Maybe the saints eventually ended up at this place, but for the rest of us, this is the destination, and the journey is where we spend our time… at least if we make the effort.

Much like the planting of those seeds of faith, where at times we may get to see a glimpse of the results, possibly the beginnings of the results of our labors, we will likely never see the complete result, or even understand what it is that will occur as a result of that work, which would be in Gods will for mankind. The one truth that we know about Gods will to an absolute certainty is that Gods plan for us is as basic as the first truth we learned as children. God’s will for us is to …. know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him.. so that we can be with Him in Heaven.
Ask someone who is your elder, if the life that they currently have, is the life that they dreamed of, or planned for in their youth. If their lives were the same now as what they had planned for it to be maybe after high school, or even after college ( if they went to college and attended after high school).

I would venture to say that nearly none of them can say that their lives turned out as they originally planned. This is the difference between where mans will differs from God’s will. We could attempt to understand, or discern where God had a hand in the things that have occurred in our lives, It is even possible that we could see a facet of how things happened the way that they did. This enlightenment is not just for our own understanding. This enlightenment is there so that we have the opportunity to not only be enriched in our own faith,, but to fulfill our mission to share that faith with others just as Epaphas did in Collosea.

God can take the one small seed, one small act of faith, and use that one act to help bring about the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. This is what Paul was praying for and encouraging the Colossians towards… and what I encourage you towards today, the same way that Saint Francis did hundreds of years ago… Preach the gospel at all times.. and when necessary, use words..

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Crisis ( Canticle of Hezekiah 4/6 )

December 28, 2013

” Day and night you give me over to torment.  I cry out until the dawn.  Like a lion he breaks all my bones. Like a swallow I utter shrill cries , I moan like a dove.  My eyes grow weak, gazing heavenward, Oh Lord, I am in straits, be my surety !   “….

In each life there are moments of crisis.  In this case Hezekiah is in fear for his life, and has suffered and not found the relief he was looking for.  He believes that things are bleak and after coming to what he believes to be the proverbial end of his rope, he turns to God for help !

In the course of crisis, there are a myriad of possible states to enter into: Irritation, Anger, Pain, Desperation , Despair, Resolution, and Peace.  In this process , those who are not then living a faith filled existence, usually turn to God somewhere between despair and desperation.

Regardless of the outcome,  there comes a resolution to the crisis, and eventually peace will resume into what ever the current reality is.  What does this say about where we are in our faith life ?  How do we approach our relationship with God.

Nearly everyone has or knows ” that relative” who does not act “right” or is unkept, or has some quality that makes them not so high on the life of people you want to spend time with.  So you invite them for various holidays, but avoid them  the rest of the year.  Is this our relationship with God ?  Do we visit only on holidays or special occasions ?  Do we spend time only when we are in crisis ?  Possibly visiting , and spending time on our relationship with God causes us discomfort because the more time we spend there, causes us to examine our lives and exposes our flaws, realities about ourselves we would maybe rather not face ?

 

The crisis in our lives can be like the sandpaper used by a carpenter,  it is at first, very coarse, or ruff grades used to take care of the ruff surfaces, and then finer grades are used to create ever finer, softer surfaces.  Crisis can be like that if we allow God to work with us.  The crisis can be a way to learn, to build our relationship with God and to not only experience, but to testify to God’s loving mercy and care.

Each crisis is an opportunity not only for growth, but an opportunity to be an example or to plant the seeds of faith by the example we give, in how we approach and work through the crisis we experience  In this way we can , in the words of St. Francis,, ” Preach at all times, and when necessary use words”…

 

 

Another Mustard Seed.

January 29, 2010

Greetings Brothers and Sisters and Peace be with you !

Today we have continued to read from the Gospel of Mark ( Mark 4:26 +).    In the Gospel we find Christ once again attempting to teach the crowd that has gathered about the Kingdom of God.   He gives them parables so that they could more easily understand.   The crowd was probably a mixture of those who did not believe Jesus, and those who may have believed, or wanted to believe but did not understand, and finally the disciples.

Jesus again gives us the picture and imagery of the mustard seed.  The smallest of the seeds.  This tiny seed grows into a huge plant.   Luke 17- tells us that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed we could move mountains just by saying to the mountain to move.    Again the mustard seed.   This was something that these people could relate to , something for them to grasp and understand.     He is reaching out and attempting to get those who do not understand to grow, to learn , and to reach outside themselves.

Is it really so different for us ?  Even those who go to church every Sunday and listen to the same Gospels being read, or the same readings year in and year out.  The its not the Gospel or the reading that changes, it is our understanding, and our application that changes.   Like the turning of a diamond, different facets glitter as light passes through the stone.   So it is with us.  The message ( the stone) it didnt change we just looked at the message differently and understood something new.  We gained insight into the kingdom as a fruit of the Spirit.    Now back to the mustard seed.

What we DO with that insight, wisdom and knowledge is our mustard seed.  I need to take that and plant it.   Share your thoughts, share the wisdom with someone else, or just share the love of God which was part of your knowledge through action, or word.  This does not mean you have to become a preacher.  Saint Francis told his brothers in the Rule of 1221 – “Let all the brothers however preach by their deeds.”     So it is with us.   Our most powerful witness to the Gospel is in how we live our lives.

The seed will grow.. the seeds of your acts of love will multiply.  You may not get the opportunity to see the fruits of the seed in this lifetime,  but you will surely see them in heaven.    The seed is small, it does not take great efforts, and the harvest will be in the multitudes.    Love, Love, Love !

What is Heaven Like ?

October 27, 2009

This mornings reading is again from the Gospel of  St Luke  ( Lk 13:18-21 ).

We have Jesus trying to teach us a bit about Heaven.  The Lord says  “What is heaven like ?”    I imagine that for a great many people, the responses of today would probably be something like.. There are streets of gold, and angels walking in the clouds, and soft harp music playing in the background,  the pearly gates, and Saint Peter standing dutifully by to admit the faithful.  Possibly a great banquet hall where the food goes forever and drinks flow like water and everyone has a mansion set aside for them.

But the Jesus does not say any of those things here,  He says that Heaven is like a mustard seed.  The mustard seed grows and eventually grows into a large bush where several birds eventually make their home.    This sounds like an awfully strange description of Heaven !

But consider this.  The mustard seed, is like the good we do on earth.   We work to feed the poor, clothe the naken, feed the hungry etc.   We may know about the good we are doing directly, but we usually dont know much about the seeds we plant in those who watch what we are doing !   In both cases we are being Christ to others.  We may be the tool of the Spirit that is used to bring another to the Body of Christ.   So much more still will they do in our stead.  In this way we are seeds, the good planted in one person, if nutured and cared for, will grow and produce fruits of the Spirit, where others, the birds of our lives will one day make their resting places, and gain souls for the kingdom of Heaven.