My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ! Following the example set for us in the Scriptures I would like to bring into this homily an image from the nature which recently I have found fascinating. I enjoy the documentaries introducing to us the marvels of the world around us, but watching them I can’t help thinking of God who created it all. However there is something more to it. Watching a documentary about the growth of a plant is fascinating indeed but as we could hear in the Gospel Jesus Christ didn’t want us to limit our admiration to the growth of the seed. Someone said that Jesus would be at home with David Attenborough, the famous British broadcaster and naturalist. I think that Jesus would be at home with everyone. He was at home with tax collectors, prostitutes, sinners, lepers, the blind, children, Pharisees etc. However I am not sure if David Attenborough would be at home with Jesus Christ. It astonishes me that the man who travels the world and sees all its marvels never speaks about God who created it all. I presume that David Attenborough might feel awkward discussing the beauty of the nature with Jesus as our Blessed Lord would use the beauty and the mystery of the nature to point out to the Divine realities.
The image which has impacted me recently is about wolves which changed the rivers of the Yellowstone Park in US. For most of the twentieth century there were no wolves in the Yellowstone as they were exterminated by people. The wolves were reintroduced in 1995. How did they change the rivers? By being wolves. They hunted the elks which were multiplying drastically before without any predators to fear. When the wolves started roaming the park the elks started avoided certain areas where they could easily fall prey to wolves, like the lowland near the rivers. It contributed to the increase of the vegetation. With the increased vegetation growth, erosion decreased and the river banks stabilized.
As I was watching the documentary it stuck me that it can be a new parable for us, twenty-first century Christians. The wolves changed the rivers in the Yellowstone by being the wolves and doing what the wolves do. We have been called the change the world by being Christians and doing what Christians do: welcoming with faith and trust the Word of God into our personal lives and into the lives of our parish community and living it. The impact which we will have on the world will not come from how powerful and influential we can be, or how much recourses we can organise to put together various projects. The impact will come from the mystery of the Kingdom of God growing in us first and spreading into the people and communities we may come in touch. Listen to this: ‘A man throws seed on the land.’ Jesus Christ is the man. His Gospel is the seed. What happens then? ‘Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing.’
In our society where there is less and less appreciation for religion a great imbalance is being fixed. Our mission is to listen to the Word, to treasure the Word and to live the Word so that other ‘people could see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.’