Friday, 16th Week in Ordinary Time               

            Jesus explains, “The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart.” Many of us are very knowledgeable about the words and language of politics, economics, business, finance, sports, popular music, fashion, communications, technology, social media, etc. Many of us are adept at the things of this world. But, sad to say, so many of us have grown deaf to the words and language of the Spirit. We do not understand the things of the Spirit when they are offered or put before us.

            The Word of God is constantly spoken to us. But are we hearing it? Without hearing or listening, we become ‘deaf’ to the language of the Spirit. The Latin word for deaf is surdus; and to be completely deaf is to be absurdus – yes, to be absurd! Our lives become absurd when we do not hear and understand the Word of God.

            Jesus also explains, “The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time.” The Lord is talking here of a very common situation: people listen to the Word with joy; they are touched; but they do not make it the foundation of their lives.

            The Word of God must take root in us and in our daily living. We must allow it to affect our minds and hearts, our choices and decisions, our deeds and actions, our behaviors and attitudes, our relationships and priorities.

            Jesus also explains, “The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit.” Worldly anxiety about what am I to eat and drink, what am I to do to get my wants and needs… such anxiety chokes the Word of God. The allurement of material wealth and possessions, of political power and influence, of fame and popularity, of success and achievement, of entertainment and pleasure… such allurement also chokes the Word of God.

            Today’s parable provides hope and encouragement: that the Sower succeeds ultimately in producing fruit from the seed that fell on good soil. With God’s grace, let us make ourselves good soil for the Word of God.

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