15th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year
Understand with your heart and turn…
The secret of understanding the parable of the sower and the four soils is knowing that they are all inside us and represent different dimensions of our relatedness to God. The good news is that we can turn the unfavorable conditions that God’s call finds in our life by listening to what is happening within us.
The seed that falls on the path and is eaten by the birds is represents the busyness of our life. The path is habit, a place worn by repetition. On the path we can travel faster and we don’t even have to look at the world beneath us. The word or our vocation hardly has a chance on the busy lanes of our contemporary world. The speed of the path or what Pope Francis called rapidification in Laudato Si (# 18) does not allow us to absorb in silence the word of love and the call to follow that is spoken in the depths of our hearts.
The rocky ground is the part of us that we have let become hard in order not to feel our own grief. The saying that repressing one emotion represses them all applies here. The compulsive avoidance of the legitimate pain and grief of our lives results in hearts that instinctively stiffen and resist any potential suffering. Opening to God implies change, growth and the unknown. However, these make us wary of the discomfort and new pain that may follow. The hardness that accompanies the habitual avoidance of pain also leaves us superficial and easily frustrated. The word of our vocation withers in this shallow ground
The thorns grow in us as low self worth and shame. Low self-esteem is a vocation killer because we usually associate serving God with being worthy. When the inner climate of our soul is of unworthiness and self-hatred because of our failures the challenge of vocation can be overwhelming. When we continually compare and find ourselves less than others our faith in God’s word is choked out.
The good soil is that part of us that does know that what God asks of us we can do with God’s help. There is deep within us an innocence that sin cannot reach. Through trustful and silent prayer we can grow in our belief in God’s continuous goodness and support in every moment of our growth in Christ. By planting ourselves in this place we gradually create the conditions that turn all else within us into good soil. When we yield everything to the Spirit then we will know the hundredfold of God’s abundance in our lives.
Fr. Mark Blom omi