Good morning, happy Friday, and many blessings.
We get so used to hearing Jesus’ parables that we may fail to appreciate how full of wisdom they are, a wisdom that is beautifully expressed in a language anyone can understand.
As we read today’s Gospel, (Matthew 13:18-23), let yourself dwell on Jesus’ wisdom as one of his most attractive characteristics.
The parable of the sower explains how the Word of God is received. Jesus knows that there are different levels of receiving the Word - allowing it to flourish and bear fruit or not giving it sufficient attention so that its effect diminishes. The Word of God is given to me as a gift. I pray that I may allow its goodness to take root in my life and yield a fertile harvest, leading me in the ways of truth and love.
Jesus explains the story of the sower and the seed. Maybe this story can throw some light on the desires in our heart to bear fruit; or on what may prevent me from heating fully the word of god. There are thorns in all of us; with Jesus we can remove them so that we may bear more fruit.
Is ‘the word of the kingdom’ sufficiently important to me as to make it a precious treasure in my life? Or do distractions and concerns edge out the primary importance of God’s word? What voices and noises of this world drown it out? Lord, make my heart silent so that I can hear you!
Jesus speaks of the word of God as something organic and growing. Let me think back to seeds that have grown in my heart: probably happenings rather than preachers’ words. I saw a kindness, a courageous stance, an example of honesty that cost the honest person dearly. That was the seed. It stayed with me and was active in my heart. In the same way I sometimes find, to my delight, that others have noticed something I did or said, and it became a seed in their heart, yielding good fruit over the years.
I allow my imagination to dwell with the scene that Jesus presents, picturing the growth, identifying threats to it. I take care not to allow the weeds and barrenness to dominate but accept that God pictures a flourishing harvest and never gives up that hope for me.
Today I want to say; Jesus tells me here that ‘understanding’ is essential for the word to take root in my heart and to be effective in my life. Reflective and unhurried listening enables it to speak to my heart. Jesus may your living and life-giving word always be a priority for me. May I put aside some time each day - like now! - to listen to it and to put it into practice.