31st Week in Ordinary Time
Romans 15:14-21;Psalm 98:1-4; Luke 16:1-8
I myself am convinced … that you yourselves are full of goodness. (Romans 15:14)
Have you ever seen a giant sequoia tree up close? As the largest, oldest, and fastest-growing trees, a sequoia can grow as tall as a twenty-six-story building. Standing next to one, you can’t help but be overwhelmed by its immensity and majesty.
Did you know that these massive trees grow from a seed the size of a flake of oatmeal? But not every seed that is germinated turns into such a towering piece of art. In fact, there is a one-hundred-year-old sequoia whose trunk is no bigger than a fifty-cent piece! So how can some sequoias grow so big, while others stay so small?
One key is a nurturing environment. Trees that get good food and plenty of light are more apt to grow to their full size. Given the right environment, a tree that is already two thousand years old will grow faster than a younger tree.
The other secret is fire. Scientists used to try to keep fire away from the old sequoias, but they discovered that the trees actually needed occasional fires in order to fully open their seeds and clear the forest floor so that they could take root and grow.
In today’s first reading, Paul tells the Romans that God has filled them with goodness, knowledge, and the ability to help one another on the road to holiness. He tells them that their seeds can grow into something big if they build the right environment amongst them. In other places, he tells them that even the “fire” of challenges can help them grow (Romans 5:1-5).
How about you? Are you going to be the sequoia that soaks in the soil and sun and prospers? Or will you be the little one, filled with all kinds of potential, but never really making the most of it? In prayer today, let the Lord show you all the potential you have. Let his light and his living water nourish you. Let him burn away the weeds that hinder you. Yes, you are full of goodness! Turn to the Lord, and let that goodness grow and grow and grow.
“Lord, help me recognize all the goodness and knowledge that you have already given me. Help me use these gifts to grow into the person that you want me to become.”~WAU