REFLECTION FOR TODAY
July 23, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
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.” Matt. 13:22-23
Jesus explains and clarifies for His disciples in our gospel reference above, the meaning of His parable the sower. He explains the meaning of the seed sown on the path, on the rocky ground, among the thorns and on the rich soil. As Christian, when we look carefully at the meaning of the seed sown into the rich soil, we see that these are those who hear, understand and bear fruit. And the fruit that is born is in varying degrees. One thing that this parable tells us is that hearing and even understanding the Word of God is not enough. There are many temptations we will face that can hinder God’s Word in our lives. Let’s briefly consider each.
First, there are many people who have been blessed to hear the Word of God. There are many who have been to religious education classes, have been taught by parents and others, have attended Church services but have failed to allow what they have heard to penetrate deeply to the point that they understand.
To hear the Word of God is very different from understanding the Word of God. One reason for this is that the pure Word of God, when heard and understood, challenges us to the core of our being. If we truly understand God’s Word, then we cannot remain indifferent. The change that the word of God bring is inevitable. Failure to change means that it is impossible for good fruit to be born in our lives to the degree God wants.
Understanding and changing is not even enough. This is because the enemies of our soul, traditionally referred to as the world, the flesh, and the devil, will powerfully attack us when we receive the Word of God and decides to abide by it. These attacks come in different ways in the form of unforgiveness, prides, anger resentment and many other.
If at last, our souls are truly fertile ground and if we allow the most pure and complete teaching of the Gospel to penetrate our souls so as to change us in every way God wants to change us, it will mean that we have overcome every temptation thrown at us. We have rejected the temptations that come from greed, pride, anger and the like. We have embraced humility, rejected worldly esteem, dismissed anxiety and worry and are directed only by the powerful, gentle, holy, and clear Voice of God in our lives.
All this requires much prayer, much interior purification, total dedication and unwavering obedience to the Word of God spoken to us both through the gospels and in the depths of our consciences. Even among those of us who achieve this level of holiness, the fruit born in our lives is dependent upon how fully and habitually we live by the guiding Word of God.
Reflect, today, upon this high calling from our Lord. Achieving the goal of having exceptionally rich soil in your heart for the Word of God requires unyielding commitment and determination. There are numerous temptations that will fight against the creation of a fertile heart. Try to look at your own heart today. Be honest. How fertile is it? Does the Word of God grow there? And if so, does it grow to superabundance? Commit yourself to the goal of becoming that rich soil in which the Word of God is sown that not only bears good fruit but bears good fruit that is a hundredfold.
Lord, You desire that every soul of every person You have created become the most pure and most fertile ground in which the seed of Your Word can grow and produce fruit in superabundance. Please help me to commit myself to this radical depth of holiness, dear Lord. My life is Yours. Please purify me, change me, mold me and produce in me an abundance of good fruit. Jesus, I trust in You.