In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the seed being sown. Some seed falls on the edge of the path, some on rock, some among thorns others on rich soil.
Many hear the word of God. Receiving what is heard depends on us. However there can be many obstacles to whether the word will bear fruit in our hearts.
Jesus explains that we need understanding of the word. It is important not to just stay on the surface. What does this word mean? What are the implications for me? What is God inviting me to do and be?
Jesus also explains that there are some who gladly receive the word of God even with joy! However it has not gone deep enough. When faced with difficulties, or challenges they give up. Do I allow my faith to be disturbed by a television program or by some argument with someone. Difficulties do not negate the word! The weakness of others does not deny the word.
Then there are some who receive the word which is stifled by materialism, the pull of disordered passions, preoccupations, anxieties and fear. These can choke the word. It is stifled.
Then there are those who receive the word in rich soil. Bearing a 100 fold would have been unheard of in the time of Jesus!
He is reminding us not to sell ourselves short and to understand the power of God’s word in us. Jesus is calling us to believe in the power of God working with in us, doing so much more than we can dream or imagine.
There is a goodness within each one of us desiring to be and to do good. For most of us goodness is attractive and we aspire to it.
However as the parable reminds us we have limitations. We can get side-tracked in a variety of ways. St Paul says, ‘the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!’
We all carry some potential and actual blocks to growth. These could be past experiences, present situations, events that happen, some within our control others not.
The word of God is given to us freely and unconditionally. God understands human frailty. ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’.
It is not the fact that we are weak, nor is it our mistakes that stop us from bearing fruit. It is resistance to letting God love us, forgive us, heal us that stops our growth.
When we believe in God’s unconditional love we are able to admit our ‘spiritual poverty’ without fear or pretence. We can freely choose to receive help from God and from those that God has given to us to support and love us. Among those given to us are our Church family. There are also the sacraments, tangible encounters with Jesus.
We have every reason not to give up in our spiritual life. We have every reason not to get side-tracked from staying within the embrace of God and God’s Church family.
We can bear fruit that will last, we can be disciples of Jesus, living reminders of what God can do in weak human nature. We can be wounded healers!