“For like a poisonous breath over the fields, like a mass of locusts over Egypt, so the swarm of excuses is a general plaque, a ruinous infection among men, that eats off the sprouts of the Eternal.” ― Søren Kierkegaard: (1813 – 1855: Danish philosopher, theologian, and poet)
Gospel Text: (MK 4:1-20)
On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed 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
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”
And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
“The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that
they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”
Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
God wants to be with us and asks our permission for it. God asks that we open our heart to His love. God does not impose himself onto us. God loves us first, promises to stay with us, but asks only that we may receive Him. Doesn’t it sound wonderful? It sounds like an easy, natural thing to do. It should be! Who would consciously not be open to love unconditional? Sadly, we sometimes are not…..
Part of us starts thinking: What will this mean for my comfortable life? What if I fail? Well, I don’t really want to deal with it, I’m too busy right now.” And that’s exactly what Jesus talks about in the parables: God’s invitation, God’s word falls on a rocky surface, it sounds like a great plan, but… our hearts are hardened by all our preoccupations. These are certainly legitimate, but God’s message is: “Let me in! Let me dwell within your heart! Just trust me!”
The only thing God asks of us is to let Him in our hearts, in our lives, in our relationships, in our thoughts, in our activities… God asks that we build a dwelling for him, that we are fertile soil for God’s gifts of love and grace. If we fail, well… God’s covenant does not state that we are faithful, but that God is! And we are always welcome back home with a few simple words, “Forgive me Father for I have sinned.”
Let’s pray today that we accept the grace to trust God’s unconditional love for us. The grace to put the rocks and thorns present in our hearts and minds, in our activities and relationships, in God’s hands to be transformed into rich soil so we can bear fruit for our own personal growth, for our families, for our communities.