Have you ever tried to tell the truth to someone who
refused to listen? Even worse, have you ever resisted the truth that someone tried to share with you? Have you ever tried to teach someone who didn’t want to learn or was afraid to learn?
There once was a family who went on a summer vacation and as they drove down the highway there was a huge sign that read, “Road Closed.” They somehow found a way to maneuver around the sign and continue on. Suddenly the road ended and there was an even bigger sign that read, “What part of ‘Road Closed’ didn’t you understand?”
My dear brothers and sisters, for the next two Sundays we will hear several of Jesus’ parables about the kingdom of heaven. The parable from this weekend’s Gospel and the explanation that goes along with it is quite clear. God’s word is like a mustard seed, which can produce life, but if it falls on deaf ears it produces nothing. This was precisely what Jesus experienced as he traveled from one place to another, teaching those who followed him and those who came to hear what he had to say.
Still, any good story can have a multitude of interpretations.
So I wish to suggest another way we might look at Jesus’ parables, a way that just might enhance our spiritual growth and our relationship with him. Instead of thinking of the field as all of humanity, think of the entire field as representing just yourself. I can see that there are times where I am closed to God’s word and other times I find myself extremely enthusiastic, but my enthusiasm has no depth. Sometimes my life becomes so cluttered with things that I have to do or want to do that I have no time left for God.
However, I have also experienced those moments in
my life, where my heart and my mind is like the rich soil Jesus
speaks about in the Gospel. These are times when I am
eager and on fire with a deep desire for God’s word and serve
him genuinely and faithfully.
In the end, God never stops calling out to us. In the
end, God never stops inviting, loving, healing us. Looking at
the parable in this way, we can begin to see in ourselves those
hardened paths, those stony grounds, those weeds; but we can
also see the good soil. And in the end, we can begin to see
that we have the freedom to determine how well God’s word
will take root in our lives by changing what we can do and
what we can become in this life; so that there will always be
more good soil in our heart and our mind for the seed of
God’s word to fall upon.
As you pray this weekend, let us ask God’s assistance
in seeking to understand better where in our lives God’s
grace is having a difficult time taking root. You are all in my
prayers as I continually pray for the revitalization and renewal
within our parish and within each and every one of you.
Be assured that you are being remembered in all of my Masses
this week as I rest and renew my mind and heart to come
back and serve each and every one of you with more love and
with a more humbled spirit.