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HOW DOES OUR HEART RECEIVE GOD'S WORD?

Father Francis's picture
Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

The Christians in the church at Corinth were worried about the life to come. Most of them came from a Greek background that believed the soul would live forever once it was freed from the 'prison house' of the body. But Saint Paul insisted that the redeemed would be given a resurrected body on the last day.

This truth puzzled his Gentile converts. What kind of body would that be? Would it be the same body they had on Earth? Would it be a physical body freed of all disfigurements and disease? Would it be a body made of some spiritual substance as yet unknown? Paul set all their speculations aside explaining that we can no more imagine what our heavenly body will be like than an acorn could envision the oak tree that it produces. Heaven will surprise us with many things - including the kind of body we will have.

Heaven is not the only place that promises surprises. Life on this Earth is filled with surprises, too, if we stop and think. There is nothing more surprising than the birth of a child! Even though we know all the facts of conception and gestation, we are still struck dumb by the miracle of a new person being born. What could be more surprising than falling in love? What begins innocently enough as a casual friendship or business relationship turns into a bond that lasts through thick and thin. Life's surprises are as plentiful as the stars!

The parable of the sower in today's Gospel was addressed to a large crowd which heard Jesus in many different ways, depending in part on what each person wanted to hear, for all were at different stages of development. The seed that was sown was the same for all, capable of germination and growth. Some seed bore fruit to its full capacity but not all was plentiful – and some did not bear any fruit at all. The harvest depended on the type of soil.

At this very moment we are hearing God's word. The seed is being sown in our hearts. If you have been hardened because of past hurts or personal sins, or may not want to have anything to do with God’s word right now, your seed has landed on the footpath.

If you may have some inclination to turn to Jesus wholeheartedly, but after a brief and weak effort you lose interest, your seed is on the rocky ground.

If you have too many other interests on your mind at this time your seed is in the briers.

But if you are open to the Lord and want to grow in His love the good soil is yours. By openly inviting the Lord into your hearts God enables You to be both happy and productive.

Lord Jesus, whenever Your word is spoken may I welcome it wholeheartedly, and may it bear abundant fruit in my life.

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