Word Sharing Circle (WSC) Reflection Guide
June 17, 2018 – 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Cycle B, Year II):
Community Word: God’s great mercy keeps us in communion with Christ
Theme: We are in communion with Christ when we allow the word of God to grow in our hearts
Promise: “They shall bear fruit even in old age; vigorous and sturdy shall they be.” (Ps.92: 15)
Our community theme for this week tells us that – We are in communion with Christ when we allow the word of God to grow in our hearts. The parables in the gospel compare the Kingdom of God to a seed planted in the ground that would naturally sprout and grow, and no matter how small that seed is, just like a mustard seed, over time it grows into a huge tree with large branches. But just like any seed, growing will not happen unless such seed is sown and allowed to grow into a full tree. The same is the case with the word of God that needs to be planted in our hearts to take root from there and become fruitful for God’s kingdom.
Spiritual growth does not happen instantaneously for everyone. Some receive what is planted within them, but nurturing and growing takes a while. Some are committed in allowing God’s word to take root in their hearts, while others struggle with many concerns that distract them from focusing their hearts and minds to God’s word. But what really matter is to acknowledge that God is the author and initiator of our spiritual growth, for with God everything is possible. It is by God’s grace that our small faith becomes stronger and we become open to God’s will and plan for our life. We must allow ourselves to bloom where we are planted, letting God’s word to grow and guide our life so that we can give glory to God and share our growth experiences with others.
This week, we take inspiration from God’s word in our scriptural readings. In the 1st reading, the prophet Ezekiel proclaims that God can take a tender lowly shoot, plant it elsewhere and it will grow into a lofty tree. God can make the most out of a humble servant when He choose him for God’s purpose. In Psalms, when the Lord plants us where we should flourish to honor His kindness and faithfulness, He will grant us this promise: “They shall bear fruit even in old age; vigorous and sturdy shall they be,” (Ps 92: 15). Needless to say, God can sow greatness and positivity from what may seem insignificant in our life. He is able to expand our spiritual horizon to many possibilities and use our hidden capabilities when we allow Him to work in our everyday life that we might love and serve Him more.
The 2nd reading clearly speaks about how God will evaluate the positive growth and fruit of a Christian who seeks to do what He wants. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil,” (2Cor 5: 10). St. Paul, nearing the end of his life, looks towards the day when he would complete his earthly mission and be able to experience the blessings for all his labor in the heavenly home of God.
God is the giver of life and source of all positive growth and spiritual transformation. Like branches, we must continue to be firmly attached to the source of a life-giving vine. Jesus is the Vine and from Him we receive what we need to grow spiritually and produce good fruit. Jesus points out that once a seed is sown in the ground, God allows that seed to grow and eventually produce a rich harvest, many times the original seed. And so with us His children, God allows growth to take place in us as we ground ourselves in His word, letting it to take root in our hearts, and from its fullness, we become sharers of His word to other people.
Let us then reflect on these realizations: 1) God alone gives us the grace to grow in our spiritual life, 2) with God’s word, a small seed of faith can grow and expand to much stronger faith not only for us but also for others in God’s Kingdom, and 3) we should not grow weary in our struggles, for God will always nurture our faith with hope and love and bring us to our full potential as followers of Christ. And just like the small mustard seed, what small thing we do for the least of our brothers and sisters with love, is already a huge step in prospering the Kingdom of God till the end of times.
Blessed are You Lord God, by Your goodness You continue to empower us to grow spiritually so we can share who we are and what we have with others. Pardon us for the times we failed to grow in the ways You expect from us with our sins and imperfections. Thank you for reassuring us of Your love in Your desire for us to grow into that person You want us to be. We lift this prayer through Christ our Lord in unity with the Holy Spirit, One God forever. Amen.
1. Have I allowed the word of God to grow and prosper in my heart? What areas in my life have I allowed spiritual transformation to happen and become more like Christ?
2. How can I reach out to others and help them grow spiritually?
This Week’s Daily Mass Reading Guide:
June 17, 2018 (Sun) – Ez 17:22-24/Ps 92:2, 3, 13-16/2Cor 5:6-10/Mk 4:26-34
June 18, 2018 (Mon) – 1 Kgs 21:1-16/Ps 5:2-3, 4-6, 6-7/ Mt 5:38-42
June 19, 2018 (Tue) – 1Kgs 21:17-29/Ps 51:3-6, 11, 16/Mt 5:43-48
June 20, 2018 (Wed) – 2Kgs 2:1, 6-14/Ps 31:20, 21, 24/Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
June 21, 2018 (Thu) – Sir 48:1-14/Ps 97:1-7/Mt 6:7-15
June 22, 2018 (Fri) – 2Kgs 11:1-4, 9-18, 20/Ps 132:11-14, 17-18/Mt 6:19-23
June 23, 2018 (Sat) – 2Chr 24:17-25/Ps 89:4, 5, 29, 30, 31,-34/Mt 6:24-34
“Ignorance of the Bible is ignorance of Christ. Read your Bible daily!”