July 13, 2014
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
What is the purpose of God’s Word if not to reveal to us God’s love and plan for us? The end for which God’s Word is sent is also God’s will, which is that we may have salvation and the fullness of life beginning right now! So why do some hear the Word of God about the kingdom, yet fail to accept it as a call to conversion and faith in Jesus? This question underlies today’s Gospel.
No doubt, all who truly open their hearts will produce much fruit, for they seek to make of their hearts a rich soil. But as our Question of the Week asked, so we must answer, “Am I producing at least thirtyfold?” If not, then I’m not the good soil Jesus is speaking of in today’s parable. The Church teaches that God wants all of us to be saints, and saints produce at least thirty fold! If we’re not there, then we need to ask ourselves two questions. What worldly concerns are choking off the Word of God in my life, and am I allowing the devil and my disordered passions and desires to steal away the power of God’s Word in my life? Consider adding these questions to your nightly examination of conscience.
The saints and spiritual writers have said that a clear way to identify unhealthy attachment to worldly concerns is to note the distractions we encounter during our daily prayer time. After all, what could be more important than our time with God in prayer each day? Identifying these attachments, we can prayerfully place them in God’s hands and ask for a change of heart in our focus and desires. Unfortunately, when it comes to sin, in our disordered passions and giving in to the evil one’s lies, we will more often than not find ourselves blind to the brilliance of God’s light and deaf to the depth and personal nature of His Word to us. Still, even in sin, we know when we are not happy, not truly free, not at peace and experiencing the joy intended for God’s holy ones. This dis-ease compels us to seek out the great Physician and Healer of souls in the sacrament of Reconciliation. Rock bottom for us is knowing that alone we can’t find that which can satisfy us. Hope comes in knowing that only God can truly set us free and satisfy our hungry hearts.
So again we can ask ourselves, “Am I producing at least thirtyfold?” If not, then something is wrong. But we can address it with the One Who loves us. Now is the moment of grace! Jesus wants to address the following words to all of us: “Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. Many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.” Yes, now is the time for Christ our Savior is here. Do you see; do you hear?
Catechism Question of the Week: The Church is holy because A) The Most Holy God is her author, B) Christ, her bride-groom, gave Himself up to make her holy, C) The Spirit of holiness gives her life, or D) She is the sinless one made up of sinners (see CCC 867)
With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: So what do I say the kingdom of heaven is like?
In Christ’s Peace,