“The seed sown on rich soil is one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a harvest of a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” (Mt 13:23)
Anytime we go to Church for the administration of a sacrament, we are offered the opportunity to listen to God’s word. Each time too, we should make sure we are attentive, we are listening, because each time, God has a special message for each one of us. So then, first of all, remember that God speaks to every one of his children in different ways. We read in the letter to the Hebrews, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors many times and in many ways through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us through his Son…”( He 1:1-2)
God is speaking to us in many ways. To some people, he speaks in their dreams. Think about Joseph, Jacob’s son, and Joseph of Nazareth. Of the latter, the Gospel tells us, “When he woke up, he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him…” (Mt 1:24) “When Joseph got up, he took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt. (Mt 2:14) As for Mary, she would treasure all in her heart. (Lk 2:51)
Other people all of a sudden, in front of a painful situation, feel like they have a mission, they have to do something, and they would leave their job, or their family to answer the call. I think about the main actor in a movie in the theaters now titled “The Sound of Freedom”. When Jim Caviezel took a leave from work to go to Colombia to see if he could find the little girl that was sold as a sex slave, he needed more time and requested it from his boss. He was told to come back right away or he would not have a job anymore. He pondered the situation and after a while asked his friend what he thought he should do. After a pause, his friend answered him, “When God gives you something to do, you’ve got to do it”. He remained silent again for a while and then, with a smile, shook hands with him and hugged him. He understood he had received a mission and showed he cared more about getting the child out of harm then about keeping his job.
This teaches us that God speaks to people through situations and events and calamities, trying to awaken in us some pity or compassion, reminding us that we all are brothers and sisters and that we should care about giving a helping hand to those in need around us, not turning our back to our own. After all, isn’t this what it means to listen to God’s word, understand it and makes it bear as much fruit as possible, a hundred or eighty or sixtyfold? Those who do so are blessed as Jesus teaches us, when he pronounced another beatitude, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Lk 11:28)
Finally, let us not forget that Jesus told us clearly that the seeds that fell on good soil are those who receive God’s word and retain it in a good and obedient heart, and they persist until they bear fruit.” (Lk 8:13)
To conclude, we remember what the Lord told us about the importance of doing our best to receive God’s word and act on it, “So then, anyone who hears these words of mine and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded over, and the wind blew hard against the house. But it did not collapse, because it was built on rock.” (Mt 7:24-25)
Fr Danis Ridore