Last week we began to reflect on the parable of the sower who goes out an broadcast seed everywhere and anywhere.
The reckless and careless manner of the Sower revels to us the heart of our Father. Our Father is reckless when it comes to broadcasting his grace outward to all regardless of the state of their heart: rocky, hard, thorny or good.
It this realization that we discover that the kingdom of God is found in the sowing not the reaping, the giving not the getting. The more we sow the more the seed we have received grows.
This a brief overview of last weeks reflection on the sower and seed. This week I want to reflect briefly on the heart of the matter, that is our heart which matters tremendously.
A young man who just received some disturbing news that a loved one has gone blind approached St Anthony, a franciscan friar who lived in the 13th century. He wanted to express his grief about the news of his loved one so he asked St Anthony "if there was anything worse than losing one's eyesight."
St Anthony as the story goes simply looked at the young man without hesitation and stated in a matter of fact way "of course there is, losing your vision would be worse."
Think about your vision, not your eyes sight but the vision you have for your life. We all have a vision of what our life should look like an dhow it should take shape. This vision is shaped by many factors.
We out a great deal of energy and planning in to living out our vision for our life whether it be in our career choice, our family choice, our housing, and even our retirement.
We have a vision.
But our vision is not of great importance. In fact our world whats us to focus completely on our vision for our life, our family, our career. But this is a shallow understanding of our life.
Our vision is nothing compared to God's vision of your life. This takes precedence or at least it should.
God has a vision for our life individually and collectively.
You find that vision throughout scripture but also in the teachings the Church Christ founded. In fact in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the the opening prologue begins with these words:
"God infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness created man to make him share in his blessed life. From this reason, God at every time and place draws close to man, He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him. God invites man to become adopted children and heirs to his blessed life."
Here is God's vision for us. Everything we do should reflect back on this vision. We should ask ourselves does it lead us toward fulfillment of God's plan or take away from this fulfillment.
Our heart's desire should be this reality: a deep longing to share in the blessed life of God.
Which brings us to the three types of soil mentioned last week by Jesus: Hard, rocky, thorny..
The first soil is where the devil comes and steals away the seed of God's word. This is what Jesus' commentary on his parable states. There is a devil. This devil desires all of us to lose the word of God completely. He opposes the good God desires to bestow. We cannot walk around life think there is not opposition. It is real. We need to be attentive. The devil is the father of deceit and father of lies that seeks to sow discord, doubt, division. We need to be attentive.
He wants to disrupt marriages and families. He wants to get us to focus on pleasure as oppose to Joy. He wants us to be self serving instead of self giving. Be attentive. The devil ant to throw himself across God's plan and disrupt it. In John 17 Jesus prays to the Father that he protect us from the evil one. Do we protect ourselves? The devil wants to plant weeds in our heart, weeds of doubt, discord, bitterness. Be attentive!
The second soil Jesus mentions is rocky ground, where the root is formed and when things heat up the seed whit hers and dies. Jesus mentioned tribulations or persecutions. This attitude is one that expects everything to be easy. This is an attitude of faith that wants the life of faith to be the path of least resistance. Faith is replaced by a feeling and emotions determining one's directional alignment rather than truth and conviction. We must remember the words of St Paul that suffering does not discredit the faith but enriches it. Feelings must be tempered by faith and not the other way around. Suffering not only purifies our faith it prepares our heart to receive the promise God wants to give.
Thirdly, Jesus mentions the soil that is surrounded by thorns. These thorns are identified by Jesus as worldly anxiety and lure of riches. It is one thing to have things it is another for them to have you. Do we posses or are we possessed? Another way to look at it is who influences our life? Who do we look to for advice in life?
We sang a song during Vacation Bible School this week entitled Simplify. This is what we need to do in order to ensure four heart if good soil ripe for receiving God's word and allowing his word to produce abundant harvest.
Is our vision competing with God's vision or is it complementary?