A Seed Destined to Bear Fruit

Sunday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time Matthew 13: 1-23 I will be sure to spend some time with God today to examine my life and see how I can both listen better and share God’s gifts more with others.
by Father Edward McIlmail, LC | Source: Catholic.net
Matthew 13: 1-23

Introductory Prayer: 
Lord, I believe in you; I know that you are present here and everywhere and are always looking out for me and guiding me. I trust and hope in you, because I know you will never lead me astray, if only I listen to you and obey you. I love you for being so good and patient with me, and I desire to live each day more faithful to you.

Open my ears, Lord Jesus, so I can listen to your Word and bear fruit.

1. Listen! 
Twice in this Gospel passage, Jesus exhorts the crowds to “Listen!” The fact is, today as then, it is hard for us to stop what we are doing, put aside our prejudices, worries and preoccupations, and listen to God. But, how else can we hope to know God’s will for us? Even during his earthly life, Jesus often – as in this passage – spoke in parables. He wants us to make the effort to understand his message and apply it to our lives. It seems that’s the minimum of goodwill he asks from us in order for him to enter our lives through the Word and transform us so we can bear fruit.

2. Blessed Are We: 
Jesus tells his disciples that they are blessed because they see what they see and hear what they hear. In a way, we could feel less blessed, because we don’t see and hear Jesus directly. However, in a way we are more blessed! The disciples in Jesus’ time had to struggle to understand his message. It was a new and, in some ways, difficult teaching, and they were the first to have to interpret, teach and apply this message. We have the benefit of nearly two thousand years of saints and scholars who, with their lives and writings, have explained and applied the Gospel; we have the Holy Spirit that the disciples had not yet received when Jesus spoke these words; and we have the presence of Jesus himself in the Eucharist. We should be thankful and act responsibly with all these gifts we’ve received!

3. Bearing Fruit a Hundredfold: 
If we do  listen to Jesus’ message, both in Scripture and in the many indirect ways he manifests his will to us in our lives, and if we appreciate what a gift this is, we must show our gratitude with the way we live. We have to be the good soil that bears fruit a hundredfold. That means not only growing in our own faith and living in consonance with it, but also multiplying the gift by sharing it with others. We can’t be satisfied with being good and not sinning; in order to be good Christians, we have to spread the message in whatever ways are available to us in our state of life. Every day we should ask ourselves: What have I done today to spread the seeds of the Gospel?

Conversation with Christ: 
Thank you, Jesus, for all you have given me! I’m sorry for the times I have not given you priority over other things and have not listened to you or shared with others the gifts you’ve given me. Help me to bear abundant fruit!

I will be sure to spend some time with God today to examine my life and see how I can both listen better and share God’s gifts more with others.

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