Vocation Meditation -
July 10, 2011
On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore.
And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirty-fold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
For Jesus, the parable is an invitation to hear, to listen and welcome the Word of God. He likened it to the seeds sown by the Sower-God. These are given to all in the hope that they may bear fruit in their lives and in society. However, as Jesus observed around Him, there is a variety of hearers of the Word:
- There are hearers with shut minds. For them the word of God has no more chance of gaining entry than the seed has of settling into the ground that has been beaten hard by many feet. What can shut their minds? Prejudice can make them blind to everything they do not wish to see. It can be the result of pride, of fear, of refusal of new truths, of an immoral character or of a particular way of life that refuses the ray of new light in one’s path.
- There are shallow hearers who fail to think things out and think them through. They take a thing up quickly and just as quickly drop it. Their lifestyle is always in fashion. Their lives are littered with things they began and never finished. Christianity has its demands and responsibilities. These demands must be faced before it is accepted. It is not founded on enthusiasm alone. A sudden enthusiasm can always so quickly become a dying fire if it is not supported by a lively and intelligent faith in the loving God.
- There are hearers who have so many interests that often the most important things get crowded out. It is characteristic of modern life that it becomes increasingly loaded and increasingly fast. We become too busy to stop, listen, sort things out and pray. Preoccupation, work and useless worry can make us forget what matters most and we forget who God is in our life. We become off-centered.
- There are hearers who are like the good ground. Their minds are open. They are prepared to hear because they are neither too proud nor too busy to listen. They are also prepared to understand because they have thought things out and what these mean for them. Hence, they are prepared to accept what God has in store for them whether these are easy or challenging. Then, they can translate their hearing into action. They are the ones who produce the good fruit from the good seed. Indeed, God’s word has found a home in their hearts.
“A sower went out to sow.”
Each day what ‘Word of God’ do I sow along my path?
You call me and many other vocation seekers to be truly ‘good grounds’ for your Word. May everyday of our lives be shaped by a renewed encounter with Christ, Your Son, the Word made flesh. Help us always to be “silent each day in order to hear the Lord’s word and to meditate upon it, so that by the working of the Holy Spirit it may remain in our hearts and speak to us all the days of our lives.” Amen. (Verbum Domini, 124b)
For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.