SAINT SHARBEL MAKHLŪF, PRIEST

 

Hear the parable of the sower. 

 

Seeds are remarkable feats of nature.   Not only do they contain miniature models of the plant they are to become, but they also have an outer casing that protects them from the elements, along with a storage area for food and nutrients that they will need in order to grow.   Amazingly, scientists still don’t fully understand what exactly happens inside a seed as it comes to life.   It remains a mystery.

One of the most remarkable things about seeds is how resilient they are.   The oldest seed that has ever been grown into a viable plant was a 32,000 year-old Arctic flower seed that was found buried, frozen, in the tundra in Siberia.

It’s no wonder, then, that Jesus would use the image of a seed to describe us!   We too have all we need to grow into fully mature children of God.   We are also very resilient.   And like a seed, we just need to be planted in the right environment in order for the mystery of spiritual growth to begin.

But there’s one way we are not like the seeds in this parable.   We have the ability to jump out of the thorns and weeds, fend off the birds, and roll off the worn footpaths that might trip us up.   In other words, we have the ability to seek out the proper spiritual environment and set down our roots there.

So how is your environment?   Are there aspects of it that threaten to choke off your faith or keep it shallow and without deep roots?   Of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect environment—except in heaven—and there are some things we just can’t change.   But we still can make choices that improve the “field” in which we live.

Sometimes small things can make a big difference, like a little bit of fertilizer mixed into the soil of a garden.   Maybe all you need is to wake up just ten minutes earlier so that you can spend a little more time in prayer.   And perhaps your effort to be a little more patient around the house can create an environment that will help the entire family become more patient.

You have within you the potential to grow into a saint.   All it takes is the right environment.

“Lord, help me grow into the person that you know I can become.”

Jeremiah 3:14-17
(Psalm) Jeremiah 31:10-13

WORD AMONG US