Every day, we need to go to our quiet place...

Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

July 13, A.D. 2008

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word: Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14
Romans 8:18-23
Matthew 13:1-23 or 13:1-9

A reflection on today's Scripture:

There's no chaining the Word of God!

Isaiah found that out a long time ago. No one can prevent the Word of God from penetrating the hearts of people any more than our umbrellas can keep the rain up in the sky. And the Word will not return to the heavens until it has born fruit. In other words, God's Will must come to fulfillment, no matter how long it takes for our hearts to soften, and our minds to expand and grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God.

In the Gospel, Jesus compares the Word of God to seed that a farmer sows in the spring. Some years ago, I was driving to a meeting on a windy day in early May. From my car window, I saw a farmer spreading seed in his field. The wind caught much of it, and swirled it high in the air. The farmer had no idea how much would land in his carefully ploughed land. Like the seed in today's parable, some would produce a rich crop, but much of it would be wasted.

In this parable, Jesus compares Himself to a farmer, and the soil to the hearts of His listeners. Some are flighty enthusiasts who go crazy with joy at hearing the Good News, but who haven't a clue of what to do with it. Their enthusiasm burns up with nothing to show for it.

And how about those whose minds and hearts get all choked up with the internet or morally unhealthy television shows and movies? Many teenagers and adults spend too much time in "virtual reality" and not enough time in real life prayer, and growing time with their spouses and children. They're too busy for generously serving time for their Church and community.

Then there's the big question we have to ask as we hear today's Word. "Where do I fit into this parable?" Will I have a "U-Haul truck" full of good deeds to bring to my judgment day? How many friends will testify on my behalf? Will I have a redeemed heart, a heart full of love for God and people?all my fruitfulness from hearing the Word of God?

It just takes a little more focus, a bit more determination, to till the soil of my soulómaking quiet space for reflection, and time for those who need me. After all, how many millions of people throughout history would have made so much better use of the seed if it had fallen in their territory! In God's mysterious providence, that seed did fall in my back yard. That Word did fall on my ears, and, (to change the metaphor), Christ has knocked on the door of my heart thousands and thousands of times. Was I home to Him?

"My word will not return to me void!" God says in our first reading. Does that mean that if I can't produce, God will find others who can? He's done it before. No! Wait, Lord, I'll try to do better!

- Msgr. Paul Whitmore ][
email: pwhitmore29 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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