for Sunday, July 10, 2011
Today in the first reading, from the Prophet Isaiah, we have some of the
most beautiful words of all of Scripture: my word shall not return to me
void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
Far too often we make God into some kind of super human being, rather than
letting Him truly be God. God's word is effective. No matter what we do
to foul up God's will, God prevails in the long run. God is God and knows
how to deal with His human creation. If we look at our daily lives, we
must come to understand that holiness is not about us achieving anything.
Doing God's will is not about us doing anything. Rather, holiness and
doing God's will is about accepting God's work within us. The work is
always God's work if it is truly grace.
The second reading, from the Letter to the Romans, reminds us that even
though God's word is always effective, it still demands of us suffering so
that we may be formed in the will of God and formed in God's own image.
Following Jesus Christ is always taking up the Cross. There is no way to
follow the Lord Jesus and avoid all suffering in our lives.
The Gospel, then, tells the story about the seed that is sown in various
types of soil. This again illustrates that God's word is effective but is
only as effective as we allow it to be in us. God is greater and stronger
than all of our resistance, but we can resist forever if need be. Being
able to resist God is the proof of our human freedom. Can a human be
strong enough to resist God for all eternity? Our traditional teaching
tells us that we humans, after death, will no longer be able to change our
basic choice from evil to good or from good to evil.
All of this is to teach us today to be rich soil, not the pathway, not the
rocky ground nor the soil with thorns. The positive spiritual teaching of
today's readings is that we must allow God to plant the rich soil within
us. We are not capable on our own but we know with certitude that God
wants the best for us and so God wants us to be rich soil.
Let us be hearers of the word. Let us listen attentively to Christ our
Lord and to the Scriptures in which He reveals Himself, the Father and the
Holy Spirit. Out of stillness and listening comes a silence which speaks
for itself. Let us live this silence of God by our love for Him and for
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: