I do not ask to walk smooth paths Nor bear an easy load, I pray for strength and fortitude To climb the rock strewn road. Give me such courage I can scale The hardest peaks alone, And transform every stumbling block Into a stepping stone. (Gail Brook Burket)
Gospel text (Mt 13:18-23): Jesus said to his disciples, «Now listen to the parable of the sower. When a person hears the message of the Kingdom but without taking it to himself, the devil comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed that fell along the footpath. The seed that fell on rocky ground stands for the one who hears the word and accepts it at once with joy. But this fickle and has no roots. No sooner is he harassed or persecuted because of the word, than he gives up. The seed that fell among the thistles is the one who hears the word, but then the worries of this life and the love of money choke the word, and it does not bear fruit. As for the seed that fell on good soil it is the one who hears the word and under-stands it; this bears fruit and produces a hundred, or sixty, or thirty times more».
My job is easy today – Jesus did it for me! I don’t have to explain the gospel, because the explanation is there. But we still have to listen and understand it. It’s still a lesson we need to learn. The word of God is here and readily accessible, but how many people think about it seriously? Lots of people go to church. Lots of people say they are Christian, but how many are living the Christian life and acting on the word of God? Too often the word is like the seed in the first three circumstances. People go to church, but as soon as they leave, the words are gone. They don’t think about it again until next week. They get too busy with their day to day lives, and religion is choked out. Their good intentions are eaten up by materialism, or choked out by their daily lives, or their intentions don’t have roots and don’t survive in the outside world.
It’s not enough to hear the word of God, we must live it. We can’t let the faith and fervor we feel at church wither up and die outside the church walls. We need to hear the word of God, really listen, think about it, understand it, and live it. We need to be the rich soil in which God’s word can take root and thrive. It’s easy to let evil or apathy take over. It’s hard to have conviction and live God’s word, but the harvest will be amazing.