WSC Reflection for July 19, 2020
By BLD World Login / July 18, 2020 at 4:48 am
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle A, Year II)
Community : Jesus invites us to find rest in Him.
Theme: We find rest in Jesus when we grow and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God.
Promise: “The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” (Mt 13:43)
Many people tend to believe that their lives are measured by hard-fought victories in advancing ones career, business success, or winning in a competition; that we gain self-worth from our achievements because we live in a performance-based world. Everything that makes our life meaningful seems tied up to an endless passion to be successful. We cannot even take a short break from working which may have become the reason of existence. Rest has taken a back seat as our work and ambition become our life, our identity and our endless purpose. From all these, sometimes we fail to hear the invitation of Jesus today, “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Mt 11:28).
The theme for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, We find rest in Jesus when we grow and bear fruit for the Kingdom of God, shows us another kind of respite from all our earthly concerns. It is the kind of rest that can only be found in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we rest in God’s love, we grow in our relationship with Him and with our fellow men. We are no longer harassed by anxiety and all sorts of troubles, but we feel unburdened, knowing that Jesus carries our load and we begin to experience peace and assurance that all will be well. There is now time to nurture our faith and look after our spiritual well-being which has been slowed down by the cares, riches and pleasures of life. Thorns and weeds of earthly things have choke the energy and life from our exciting and purposeful encounter with the Lord. We have been derailed and felt exhausted in reaching our goal of fruitfulness and spiritual maturity.
To be able to continue in our spiritual growth, we need to yield to the pruning work of the Holy Spirit as we allow Him to purge us of the things that stunt our journey of transformation. To remain fully connected to Christ, our heart needs to be emptied with unnecessary things that take up our time and instead, only bring concerns that burden us. Jesus desires that we give our utmost to Him and on things above. Our life may be bare of temporal things, but our heart is full of heavenly treasures, our fruit for the kingdom.
To be spiritually mature is a life-long process. We may not achieve perfect holiness on earth, but what is important is our desire to be good by God’s grace. It does not come by self-righteousness, but by humbly depending on the knowledge of how God wants us to live through His word. When we submit to Him, He changes our desires and shows us how to obey and please Him. As we abide in His word, we are guided on how to think, how to use our tongue, how to behave in every situation. He causes us to possess Christ-like character and action that enable us to give pastoral care to those He sends in our life.
Our responsibility then is to share our spiritually fruitful life as a beacon of Christ, to be a shining light to unbelievers who may have been blinded by the gods of this world. With the spiritual gifts and fruit of the Spirit we have received, we testify to people, encouraging them to change their ungodly ways. As witnesses of Christ, we ought to persuade them to forgive, to love and to be healed and do what is right, in the name of Jesus. Then, we become instruments in declaring this assurance to all who believe, “The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” (Mt 13:43).
Lord Jesus, I want to lead a fruitful life. Help me make progress to be more fruitful in my spiritual journey amidst all my struggles. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and keep me close to You. Mold me to be a better and faithful disciple, bearing fruit that last for your Kingdom. Teach me to live a life that brings glory to Your name. Amen.
Reflection Guide Questions:
1. In the busyness of your work schedules, what steps are you taking to give more time for your spiritual life? How is your prayer time? Do you still have time to read the Bible? How much time do you spend serving and supporting your Church and community?
2. When you surrendered your life to God, what changes did He do? How did your renewed life bring blessing to people around you? Share your experience.