In a world that exalts falsehood and selfishness, it sometimes seems a losing battle to proclaim faithfully the truth that comes from God.
Today’s readings remind us, however, that God’s word is all-powerful and is to be proclaimed – no matter what.
Today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:1-23
) presents us with the familiar Parable of the Sower.
Consider how the imagery of the Parable may reflect our own lives at different times: the hard, dry, beaten-down and vulnerable path; the rocky places in our lives – painful, treacherous, and with no room to grow; the twisted, confused, and deadly thorns that ensnare and suffocate us.
Yet even in these terrible places, the word of God comes to us – a word that will make a difference, that will have an effect, as today’s first reading (Isaiah 55:10-11
) reminds us so beautifully:For just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
and do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
so shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
my word shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.
One of the reasons God’s word is effective is that it has its own way of finding the “good soil
” in which it can take root and flourish where you and I might see only a wasteland of hard ground, rocks, and thorns.
Nonetheless, it is critically important for us to do what we can, by the grace of God, to open up even more “good soil
” in our hearts and in our lives: to create more opportunities for reflection and meditation to let God’s word take root deeply within us and, while remaining faithful to our godly responsibilities, to free our minds and hearts from worldly anxiety and the lure of riches.
This can be difficult and it is easy to lose hope, especially in times of hardship, but, as Saint Paul reminds us in today’s second reading (Romans 8:18-23
), the power of God’s word will conquer all – no matter how hopeless or futile things may sometimes feel.I consider that the sufferings of this present time
are as nothing
compared with the glory to be revealed for us.
For creation awaits with eager expectation
the revelation of the children of God;
for creation was made subject to futility,
not of its own accord
but because of the one who subjected it,
in hope that creation itself
would be set free from slavery to corruption
and share in the glorious freedom
of the children of God.(adapted from an earlier post)