Sunday, July 23, 2017

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor
By Father Perry D. Leiker, pastor 

Quote of the Week: “I must respect the opinions of others even if I disagree with them.” — Herbert H. Lehman.

Jesus shares a series of parables on the kingdom of heaven, beginning with one about the sowing of seeds. In this one, both good and bad seed are sown.

The slaves of the household want to pull out the weeds, but the master of the house counsels to let them grow up together, then harvest them and separate the good from the bad.

The next two parables are also about growth: the mustard seed, and the yeast that causes the wheat to rise.

Jesus notices that growth comes in many ways. There is the parallel growth of good and bad; there is the surprising growth of something tiny (the mustard seed) that becomes something very big, and there is the growth that comes when something full of potential (yeast) is added.

Growth usually is very slow and incremental. It is hardly noticeable. Over short periods, one usually cannot see it happen. But tracked over a long period of time, it often shocks and amazes us.

Some people mark the growth of their children on the borders of the hallway doors on a monthly basis. Days or weeks probably cannot be recorded. Monthly or quarterly will reveal the growth that has occurred.

Do we recognize our personal growth as Catholic Christians? Do we stop to take a good look at ourselves and appreciate the way the Gospel has grown within us?

Do we mark the growth along the way, perhaps through the sacrament of reconciliation or through good talks and sharing with other people concerned with the growth of their own spirit?

Jesus lifts up the notion of growth because he knows that the grace and love of God, so generously given and so fruitful for our spirit, offers us the opportunity to experience tremendous growth.

Over months, over years, over a lifetime, it simply amazes!

The kingdom of heaven is like the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The kingdom of heaven is now.

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112; email Follow Father Perry on Twitter: @MrDeano76.

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