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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, June 15, 2020
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala

From seed to fruit

Rock & Refuge

Christ has been using commonly identifiable and ordinary things to convey precious lessons that contain rich spiritual and supernatural dimensions. We know that he spares nothing to adapt himself to us, if only to recover us from our state of sin, exile and alienation from God, facilitating our understanding of basic truths about our faith that are indispensable for our salvation.

One of these things is the seed which he uses, for example, to teach us about the duty to be like the fertile ground that makes that seed bear fruit a hundredfold, (cfr. Mt 13,1-23) or that its growth depends on God’s grace even if we have to do our part of watering and caring for it, as in the parable of the growing seed. (cfr. Mk 4,26-29)

Christ also talks about the mustard seed as an image of the Kingdom of God. It may be small, but when it grows it becomes the largest among the garden plants. (cfr. Mk 4,30-34)

Indeed, the concept of seed is very useful if we have to consider the many different gifts we have been receiving from God and from others. These gifts, like the gift of life, vocation, privileges and honors, commitments, etc., can be likened to a seed that need to be sown on fertile ground and to be taken care of even if God himself takes care of them.

These gifts also will unravel to us their many potentialities, implications and full consequences that at first we may not realize or expect. And we should just be ready to handle the demands and requirements that go with these potentialities and implications.

Thus, everytime we celebrate the anniversary of our birth, vocation, privileges and honor, and the commitments we have entered into, let us examine ourselves if the seed of these gifts have conformed to the expectations Christ has made about them.

Have we been the fertile ground that made those seeds of gifts grow to flower and bear a lot of fruit? Have we given them the proper care even if their development depends more on God’s grace for which we should continually ask?

Are we ready to face and tackle the demands and requirements of the actualization of the unexpected potentialities and implications that they actually involve right from the beginning?

In the case of the seed of life and vocation, for example, we can say that everything is already defined there. The genetic code, so to speak, is already made. But we may not realize everything of its possibilities and implications at the beginning. And God, the giver of these gifts, may not let us know all about what are contained or involved in those gifts at the beginning.

The unfolding may come in a very gradual process, if only to give due consideration to the nature, character, limitations and other conditions of the receivers of these gifts. These receivers have yet to be properly prepared before a new stage of the seed of gifts is set in motion. This preparation is, of course, a result of God’s grace and our effort as well.

There was once a founder of a Church institution who, when he received his vocation, at first thought that what God was asking of him would involve only men. It was only later that he was made to realize that women are and should also be involved.

Still later was he able to find a way of having priests in it after he was also made to realize that priests are needed. Still much later was that Church institution finally recognized by Church law fully as it is, as defined by his God-given vocation.

The founder surmised that God was gradually showing him the content of his vocation so as not to overwhelm him at the beginning. But at every stage of the development of his vocation, he did all he can to take care of it. So from the seed, the vocation flowered and bore a lot of fruit!*

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