Sunday, July 10, 2011

“You must give to get, You must sow the seed, before you can reap the harvest.”

“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." - (Jesus to his disciples in the book of Matthew)

(Gospel Mt 13: 1-9)
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea.
Such large crowds gathered around him
that he got into a boat and sat down,
and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying:
“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirty fold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

The message is quite clear: God is generous while sowing, but the very success of his sowing is also contingent —at the same time— on our free response. That the fruit depends upon the soil where the seeds fall is something that our daily experiences already tell us. For instance, amongst the pupils of the same school and the same class, some may end up with a religious calling while others may end as atheists. They heard the same messages, but the “soils” where the “seeds” fell were different.

The good soil is our heart. Partly, because of our own good nature; but, mostly, because of our own will. Some people prefer to enjoy themselves rather than trying to be better. With these persons it happens the same as in the parable: the thistles (that is, the worries of this life and the love of money) «choke [the Word]; and it does not bear fruit» (Mt 13:22).

But, those who, instead, treasure the being, they lovingly receive God's seeds and make them bear fruit. Although, doing it means considerable mortification. Jesus Christ said it too: «I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds» (Jn 12:24). The Lord also warned us that the road to salvation is narrow and steep (cf. Mt 7:14): the more valuable it is, the more difficult to get. Priceless things cannot be obtained without effort.

Those enthralled by their own penchants will have a heart like a wild jungle. On the contrary, the fruit trees that are pruned on time will bear the best fruits. Saints never had an easy life, but they were models for Mankind. «Indeed, not all of us have been called to martyrdom, but certainly to attain the perfection of Christian life. But the virtue demands such a strength that (...) all the same it requires a long and painstaking work, which we should never interrupt, until we die. Accordingly, this may be considered as a slow and continuous martyrdom» (Pius XII).

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