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Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 3:14-17
Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12abcd, 13
Matthew 13:18-23
In the first reading, from the book of the Prophet Jeremiah, we hear words of
comfort from our forgiving God. In the Responsorial Psalm we recite the affirma-
tion that we are protected by our Lord. And in the Gospel, we listen to the par-
able of the sower and evaluate what kind of ˈsoilˉ we are for the word of God.
Today while I was outside in my small, struggling garden, I started really thinking
about the sower in the Gospel reading. My neighbor Nancy and I are currently
trying to make adjustments to the types and amount of plants in the garden, the
spacing of them and ultimately, the condition of the soil. I was considering how
much effort Nancy and I were spending on this little plot of land that we were
desperately trying to make suitable for growing big, juicy tomatoes, crunchy bell
peppers and various herbs.
I had heard the Parable of the Sower many times in my life and to prepare for this
reflection I read it over yet several more times; not just because I liked it but be-
cause each time I read it I found a deeper meaning for each of the places the
seeds were sown. The story is about receiving the word of God and letting it
take root in our lives. It˅s easy to receive the word of God, read the bible or go
to mass! But just reading and listening doesn˅t ensure that the word takes ˈrootˉ
in us, just as putting plants in my garden didn˅t translate to bountiful fruit. How
do we cultivate the word of God in our lives?
Have you ever found yourself in mass listening to the readings and next thing you
know your mind has wandered off to thinking about something so unrelated, like
what movie you might choose to go see later? Even when we hear God˅s mes-
sage, there is so much to distract us from
hearing the word and living the
way He wants us to. These distractions can be in the form of worries, material
desires or a jam packed schedule. These are the rocks that don˅t allow roots to