In Spiritual Life -Homily
June 14, 2015
Jesus speaks in parables because we usually deal better
with images than with deep concepts. By speaking in that way, he makes us think
and reflect in his words. Those who remember his words remember Him. The more we
remember Jesus and think about him the more we love him. Also, when we reflect
about the meaning of the Bible we use better our time, we do not waste our time.
Jesus speaks in parables so that, instead of watching TV, which usually dries
our brain, we exercise our brain. Instead of reading superficial magazines
about the lives of other people, we exercise our brain in reflection. What did
Jesus mean? What is the seed? What does the harvest mean? Why does he clarify
that the sower sleeps and rises again?
Jesus explains privately to his disciples, because they
will have to teach the people what he means. He explains more to his disciples
because they spend more time with him, they spend time privately with him, they
are closer to him. If we reflect often in the Scriptures, we all may become of that
group to whom Jesus explains everything privately.
1. Let’s go to the explanation of the parable. The seed
is the word of God, it is also his grace. The earth is a humble heart. God
gives his grace only to the humble. In order to receive the Kingdom of God we
have to recognize that we need Jesus, that we are not perfect, that the
happiness we desire cannot be found but in God.
2. But maybe the most important message of the Gospel of
today is that the seed is meant to grow. How many times Christians grow old and
pass their entire life with the faith they had when they were children. Old
people with a tiny faith. Old priests with a tiny faith. Adults with the faith
of a child. Jesus wants our faith and our love for him to grow. I am not
talking about studies, although it is not excluded. Most importantly, we have to
grow in our confidence in the word of God, we have to grow in our life of
prayer, we have to grow in our love for God, in our
desire of Heaven, in our charity towards our neighbour,
in our capacity of forgiveness and patience. Do we grow in these things?
3. The sower of the word of God is Jesus. A man who
sleeps and rises: his death and resurrection. A man who does not know how the
seed grows: it means, I think, that Jesus gives us the gift of grace so that we
ourselves also play our part, so that we freely respond to his grace. Jesus
does not want to do everything, we have a job to do. Then Jesus says: “There is
first a stalk.” We have to grow, but the beginning is not nice, it is like a
stalk, like the cross. First, we have to purify ourselves from evil, from sin,
bad habits, etc. But then, “there is the head”: the head of wheat is more
attractive. It means to grow in the exercise of virtues, in the imitation of
Christ and his saints. There is then the full grain: at the end we enjoy the fruit,
we are bread ready to be transform in the body of Christ, we
enjoy the sweetness of God. So three stages: first, the purification of evil;
second, the growth in virtue and good habits; finally, rest and communion with
God. Mind you, in those three stages we will always fight evil, but the
bitterness of the beginning is gradually transformed in the sweetness of rest.
4. In the second parable we hear that the beginning of
spiritual life is small, in our own eyes, like the mustard seed; but it is
destined to be so great, that many others will be able to enjoy its growth.
When faith grows it is ready to be shared; when love grows it is ready to do good to others. A sign of growth in spiritual life is that
we think more about others than about ourselves, and that we think more in the
spiritual welfare of others rather than just in their material necessities.
May the Lord grant us to grow in our spiritual life. If we know that we have a defect, let us try to get
rid of it: gossiping, impatience, pride, impurity, lack of prayer, lack of
faith. If we realize that our love is weak, let us exercise it more: spend time
with people we don’t like, be nice to people who have hurt you, help more the
poor, pray more, invite people to church. May our Lady help us to grow, because
we are her children.