MONDAY: Week Nine in Ordinary Time
Whether it is a seedling, sapling, a full-grown tree or a branch, without nutrients, substance and constant pruning, it will have a limited lifespan and low productivity. God, in our relationship with him, likened us to trees planted by the water's edge. The drought seasons will have no negative impact on our stability, longevity and potency as long as our roots are in that river (Ps.1:3-4).
Psalm 1:1-6 and Deuteronomy 30:15-20, both texts remind us of humankind's substantial growth, development, wellbeing and productivity reach their ultimate value when people plunge their roots in the wellspring of salvation. If the grace of God is their nutrients, they will be like pine trees – evergreen, productive and enriching.
The two ways upheld by the Psalmist and in Deuteronomy, respectively are allegories for the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who owns the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit will recognise he or she is only a tenant in the vineyard of the Lord - God is the ultimate owner of the heavens and the earth (Ps.24:1). Then that person will do all things under the guidance of grace and the Holy Spirit to protect the divine dignity and integrity God placed in him or her. Christians must keep in mind: accountability is part of our stewardship when Christ comes again.
During the Lenten season, God pruned us through his word. During Paschal season, he cleansed, sanctified, and justified us. At Pentecost, he glorified us with the Holy Spirit and made us worthy ministers and stewards of his sacred good and service. Therefore, will we let dignity, integrity with a keen sense of divine justice prevail until the Lord comes again to reap his harvest?
My Lord and my God. Take away from me all notions of entitlements and self-importance. Please, Lord, make me a humble, obedient and selfless servant like you.