While we have been in the Ordinary Time season for a few weeks now, from this weekend forward the liturgical color will be green on Sunday. Green is a color of hope. It also evokes new life and growth. So during this Ordinary Time, we are encouraged to grow in the Lord.
Good growth usually means slow growth. When I was growing up, we had a moderately sized evergreen tree in the backyard. I used to climb its branches. In 1972, the tree was about eight feet tall. In 2010, a lightning bolt sheared off the main branch (the tree had divided into two main sections) which by this time was about 40 feet long. Today, the tree is about 45 to 50 feet tall and still looks healthy. Most of the growth was unnoticeable (until the branches grew between the power lines). At times the tree itself looked like it was nearing the end of its life. Yet, it always bounced back, healthier than before. Even after the lightning strike, I thought about cutting the tree down. However, I decided to let it live. I no longer own the family home; but I hope that the person who bought the house appreciates the majesty of that evergreen tree.
So too it is with us. We grow slowly and sometimes we don’t even notice the difference. Yet, over time we gradually are molded into the persons God wants us to be. Sometimes, like the son of the widow of Zarephath or the son of the widow of Nain, we are dead. We may appear to be on our last legs, yet God picks us up and restores us to new life. Therefore, we must never lose hope or feel abandoned.
During this summer season, may each of us consciously strive to grow and more importantly, to acknowledge the growth that has taken place. And I’m not talking about our waistlines! Where were you spiritually in 2012? Where are you spiritually now? How has God picked you up and breathed new life into your soul and spirit?