Friday, July 26, 2013

If you are what you are meant to be, you will set the world on fire. ...

“Léon Bloy wrote: 'Life holds only one tragedy: not to have been a saint” ― Peter Kreeft, Philosophy professor at Boston College

Gospel Text: (MT 13:18-23)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Hear the parable of the sower.
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.
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.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
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.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

To respond to this parable adequately, I think we must be very honest with ourselves, both as individuals and as a nation that is comprised of roughly 23.9% baptized Catholics and 78.4% who classify themselves as Christian.

Many who hear the gospel never seem to “get it.” The message is stolen before it ever takes root. There are the 50% of Catholic kids in America who receive the sacraments but disappear somewhere between age 18 and 35. Shallow roots fail to equip them to take the heat of our current culture. Then there are the 89% of lifelong, regular churchgoers who, according to George Gallup, have values and lifestyles identical to those of their pagan neighbors. Their faith has been neutralized by bad theology and worldliness so though they look like “wheat plants”, their religion is “fruitless”. Finally, we come to those who are not satisfied with just getting by. They sink their roots deep into Scripture, Tradition, prayer and the sacraments, and produce a bumper crop. We call these people saints. Remember, saints are simply people who get to heaven.

In speaking to us as seed, Jesus is saying: “be careful”. If you don’t make the effort to get thoroughly rooted in your Catholic faith, you just might not make it.

We were not put on this earth to “just get by”. Each and every one of us is called to “bear much fruit” (John 15), to yield 100 fold, to be a saint, to leave a mark on the lives of many that will last forever.

Don’t settle for anything less!”

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