July 20, 2011 - Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

The dirt path is trodden down. The seed falls but it does not even go into the soil, which is too hard. Such a soul is very sure of itself; so sure that it cannot even listen. How can such soil be prepared for planting? It needs to be worked with a plow. It needs to be turned over. There is good soil underneath. Such a soul needs to have its life turned upside down. A crisis can force this (sickness, unemployment, loss), but it is better if such a person chooses to turn their life upside down before a crisis comes. If the Word of God has no effect on you, turn your life upside down.

The rocky soil takes in the Word of God but there is no place for it to take root. Such a person is excited about their faith for a time. They might be a new convert or a lifelong Catholic who is just learning to love the Word of God. The solution to rocky soil is to remove the rocks. The rocks are habits of sin or situations, or even friends, who are occasions of sin. If you are excited about the Word of God, remove the rocks from your life so that it can take root.

The thorns are weeds that choke the Word of God. Plants require sunlight, space, and water to grow. A field full of weeds has no place for a garden to grow. The Word of God requires time and effort. If you are giving your time and effort to other things, so that there is no time or effort left for the Word of God, how can it grow? Pluck the weeds. As an example, the Bible only requires 100 hours to read, cover to cover. Many people watch 100 hours of TV in a month. If the TV and work and the Internet and anything else are sucking up your time and effort, kill them off; let them starve. Feed the Word of God that is growing within you.

All of us have areas of deafness. All of us have rocks in the soil. All of us have thorns choking off what we ought to be fostering. Plowing, clearing rocks, and weeding are all hard work, but what is the point of being a Christian if we are not making space for Christ to grow in our souls?