September 20, 2008
Saint Andrew Kim Teagon and Saint Paul Chong Hasang and companions martyrs
Luke 8: 4-15
When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable. "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds of the sky ate it up. Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold." After saying this, he called out, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear." Then his disciples asked him what the meaning of this parable might be. He answered, "Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you; but to the rest, they are made known through parables so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand. This is the meaning of the parable. The seed is the word of God. Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts that they may not believe and be saved. Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance."
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God who came into this world to save us because you love us. Your incarnation fills me with hope. The only response I can give is to love you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.
Petition: Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart more like yours!
1. Humility Is Key to Holiness
How many paths to failure there are! Jesus said, “I am the Way.” Am I following his way? Except for the grace of God, I might be like the trampled ground, the rocky ground, or the thorny ground, rejecting, not absorbing, or not practicing in some way the teachings and commandments of Jesus. If I am rich soil, I must acknowledge God’s grace and thank him for this favor. When I struggle, I must, in humility and with perseverance and patience, confess my faults and begin again. I know that God can do tremendous things with a humble soul. I also know that he is greatly limited by a heart that is full of pride.
2. Form Your Conscience
What is the hardened path if not a dead conscience, a conscience that has been lulled to sleep through repeated compromise and sin? The devil can easily snatch God’s truth away from a heart that is hardened or a conscience that is dead in sin. I must continually form my conscience according to the teachings of the Church and strengthen my resolve through prayer and reception of the sacraments to follow it, no matter the consequences. Jesus said, “I am the Truth.” Have I learned to recognize the truth and rejoice in it?
3. Bear Fruit
What is the fruit that God desires? Surely it is the salvation of souls, beginning with my own. Can I patiently persevere in the formation and protection of my own soul? Has my prayer life improved over time, or is it the same as it was when I was a child? Am I willing to help others come to know Christ in his fullness? To pray? To study scripture? Do I see my family as my first apostolate, the first place Jesus expects me to “bear fruit”? Am I patient with my spouse and my children? With my extended family? Do I hold fast to the Word with a heart that is honest and good? Jesus said, “I am the Life.” Is he my life? Only then will I bear fruit that lasts.
Dialogue with Christ: Lord Jesus, you are my way, my truth, and my life. I so want to be rich soil in which your Word may thrive and bear fruit thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and one hundred-fold. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalms 119:150). Strengthen me when I am tempted to compromise and take the easy way. The easy way is usually a dead end.
Resolution: I will really focus and fight distractions during the Liturgy of the Word at Sunday Mass so as to offer rich soil in which our Lord’s word may take root.
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