From thorns to deeper roots

Jesus’ parable of the Sower in Mt 13:1-23 challenges his faithful followers to keep one’s ears open to the Word of Truth, to listen to the explanation of the Son of God as the mysteries of God cannot be explained through human efforts. In the parable there is the time difference between the initial phase of the sowing and the end phase which coincides with the fruit of the harvest, or planting the seeds and harvesting the fruit. Jesus, the sower, sows the word of the kingdom (13,19) which makes present the lordship of God over the world, thereby bearing the final fruit of conversion and sanctity. Lost will be the wild thorns and bushes that would spoil the healthy growth of the aspiring Christian soul.

The call to the ecclesial community today is to communicate in a new way the person of Jesus and the values of the Gospel. One has to develop such ‘evangelical readiness’ by a life of tireless prayer and efforts to reach out and engage in multi-cultural dialogue with peoples we meet in person or through social media. They must feel the inner charity in our hearts that endeavors to love as Jesus loved, and to serve as he served, giving his life as a total sacrifice. The example of the saints mirrors and witnesses to the different kingdom values, particularly the selfless love and care for the poor and the needy. Precisely because they kept their gaze on Christ the divine model, they were able to see and serve Him in the poor.

“Let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:18) — a timely quote from Pope Francis in declaring the First World Day of the Poor on 19 November 2017. He mentioned a ‘scandalous growth of poverty’ throughout the world that ought to awaken us to a sense of personal responsibility to help uplift the dignity of our least favored brothers and sisters, and to respond with a new vision of life and society. May the thorn of poverty and related evils, crimes and wound of humanity be healed and overcome by our deepened roots in God’s love and joyful deeds of generous sharing. Lord, from time to time we are thorns and rocks, but also good, fertile soil. Grant us the strength to block the deceiving vanities of pleasure and money, and to remain deeply rooted in your Word of Truth.

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