Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time, January 29
Let Us Pray That Our Lord May Help Us to Open Our Ears to the Sound of His Call in Our Lives, So That We May Become That Fertile and Rich Soil in Which His Seed May Take Firm Root and Produce Much Fruit.
“The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them.”
When we look at the world in which we live today, it oftentimes becomes very distressing to read or hear about cultural and ethnic hatreds, violence, religious intolerance, starvation and disease for millions of people in almost every country.
The question which many people ask is, “Why is it so difficult for people of different cultures and ethnicities to be tolerant and respectful of one another, especially when the hearts of most ache for peace, especially when the truly impoverished and the sick – those who are struggling just to remain alive – do not have enough food or medicine in a world which has an abundance of both?”
Sadly, the most important ingredient needed to show respect and care for our brothers and sisters is missing in the hearts of many – and that ingredient is LOVE.
Most, but not all, of the world’s religions today recognize the importance of respecting the dignity of the human person. Most, but not all, of the world’s religions are conscious of the fact that such respect must first come from within each one of us.
So what causes us, as a people in general, to close our eyes, to close our hearts to those who are different or to those who suffer? What causes nations and governments to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear towards their neighbor, denying the dignity to which every human individual is entitled?
Today’s Gospel helps to shed a ray of light on this issue. Jesus gives us the parable of the sower and the seed which he plants in different environments. Both you and I can look within ourselves, and, prayerfully, we can see that we are that rich and fertile soil to which our Lord is referring, wherein the seed, which is God’s Word, has taken firm root.
And because we have opened the ears of our hearts to His Word, and have allowed His Loving Presence to dwell within us, prayerfully, we have also borne good fruit in those whom our lives have touched.
But what about all the people we either read or hear about in the news, people who are in a position to make this world a better place in which to live, people who could truly make a difference for those who are less fortunate or are different? In what sort of environment do we find their hearts and souls? How do their lives impact on those around them?
Jesus told his disciples that not everyone would understand his parables. He was aware that some, who would hear his words, would refuse to understand them. It wasn’t that they could not intellectually understand them; but rather, their hearts were closed to what Jesus was teaching. They had already made up their minds not to listen, not to believe.
What then causes a person to become unaffected or unresponsive to God’s Word? Preoccupation with worldly matters can distract us from what is truly important and worthwhile. And letting our hearts and minds be consumed with materialistic greed and power, as well as secularistic pleasures, can easily weigh us down and draw us away from the Heavenly treasure which awaits us and which lasts for eternity.
God’s Word can only take root in an opened and receptive heart, which is docile and ready to hear and learn what God has to say.
Many years ago, I remember the injustices that were committed on the part of several governmental agencies – local, state and federal – against the displaced peoples of New Orleans in Louisiana as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.
And I am sure we can also remember the major oil corporations defending their earning billions of dollars in profits, while the average person was suffering due to the ever-increasing gas prices at the pumps. Such corporate greed only served to make the poor poorer and those hungry even hungrier. And this example of governmental injustice and corporate greed can be found in almost every country around the world!
And it is continuing to happen even today throughout various parts of our world, as many others suffer from devastating losses due to the ravages of nature and the blind greed of man, all at the expense of those less fortunate and who suffer in our midst.
Here, we find examples of the seed falling on the path or rocky ground or amidst thorns. The Word of God never really took root, for either the seed withered and died or it was choked by the thorns and greed associated with materialism.
And yet, we know that God never stops trying to reach out to us. He never ceases to invite us into a more open and loving relationship with Himself.
In the midst of a climate of peoples, cultures and nations which has closed itself off to God’s Word, it is incumbent upon each of us that WE become all that God wants us to be, even if the only difference we can make in this world is the love and help given to one person, one soul at a time, in the lives which we are able to touch personally.
God is inviting us to be open to His Word. He is inviting each of us to become the extension of His Love, to become Christ-like to everyone we meet, especially to those who are different or less fortunate that we.
By virtue of our Baptism, and the strengthening we have each received through Confirmation and the Eucharist, we have become that fertile soil in which God’s Word – His Eternal Truth – has been planted. We become the instrument through which God wishes to reach out to others; we become that seed which is to bear good fruit.
And the fruit of this seed is Christian love, a genuinely open heart respecting one another and caring for our less fortunate brothers and sisters in need. For there are many in our midst, even in our own “backyards”, who bear the Face of the Suffering Christ.
Let us pray that our Lord may help us to open our eyes to His Divine will. Let us pray that our Lord may help us to open our ears to the sound of His call in our lives, so that we may become that fertile and rich soil in which His seed may take firm root and produce much fruit – “thirty and sixty and a hundredfold” –
– fruit which shall truly be pleasing to our Most Loving and Merciful Father in Heaven. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “And [Jesus] taught them at length in parables…He added, ‘Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.’” (Mark 4:2a, 9)
- “And when [Jesus] was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, ‘The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that “they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”’” (Mark 4:10-12 ~ cf. Isaiah 6:9-10)
- “The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them.” (Mark 4:14-15)
- “…the ones sown on rocky ground…have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” (Mark 4:16a, 17)
- “…without faith it is impossible to please [God].” (Hebrews 11:6a)
- “Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.” (Mark 4:18-19)
- “…do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9)
- “Then [Jesus] said to the crowd, ‘Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.’” (Luke 12:15)
- “Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
- “One person is lavish yet grows still richer; another is too sparing, yet is the poorer. Whoever confers benefits will be amply enriched, and whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Whoever hoards grain, the people curse, but blessings are on the head of one who distributes it!” (Proverbs 11:24-26)
- “But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:20)
Prayer for the Day
“Heavenly and Eternal Father,
help me to live my life as it pleases Your Divine will.
Assist me to recognize You in all whom I meet,
and to live the virtues which our holy faith espouses.
“But many are the seductions and lies which assault me;
many are the temptations which weaken my resolve;
for the prince of this world disguises himself as an angel of light,
entrapping many who fall victim to his wiles and deceptions.
“It is Satan who spreads seeds of disruption,
stealing souls who rightfully belong to You.
Give me Your Holy Spirit to enlighten and strengthen me,
keeping me safe from all that would destroy my soul.
“It is You, Almighty God, whom I desire in life and for eternity;
it is the gift of faith which You have planted within my soul
which I will forever cherish and hold dear to my heart,
and it is Your Love with which I wish to be forever embraced.
“I pray, save me from the snares of the evil one,
and I shall be found praising the wonders of Your Glory forever. Amen.”Anonymous