ByMary Ellen Barrett

 

 

“But those that sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.
~ Mark 4:20

 

When reading today’s Gospel, it is very easy to see how we are meant to respond to the message of Jesus. We are meant to be the seed that takes root; we are to provide fertile soil, and we must cultivate the plant and encourage it to thrive. Believe it or not, that is the easy part.

The world needs these seeds

The more challenging message is that we are also meant to sow those seeds. Since Vatican II, each pope has preached that we, the faithful, are meant to evangelize the world and bring everyone we encounter home to the one true church of Christ. That, my friends, is way harder. Have you seen the world? It’s nuts out there.

Have faith in the little things

How do we plant seeds in such rocky, thorny soil? How do we get through to the people who need this the most? The broken and lost, those in despair, or those so steeped in the culture of death and decadence that they don’t even know they are miserable. 

Faithfully. That’s how we do it. With small gestures and bright smiles, with prayers and sacrifice. With gentle voices and compassionate hearts. With endurance, patience, and determination not to water down the message.

Look to Saint Francis

That doesn’t feel very practical, I know. You may feel you don’t have the personality or charisma to plant the seeds of faith, but regardless of the greenness of our thumbs, we are all called to sow seeds and be fruitful. St. Francis De Sales, whose feast day is today, says, “Great occasions for serving God come seldom, but little ones surround us daily.” Find those small ways to preach about Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to inspire you in every encounter and spread those seeds with wild, joyful abandon.

 

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, create in me a desire to spread the message of your love and mercy to everyone I encounter; give me the courage and words I need to help build your kingdom. Amen.

Call to Action:

Find someone struggling in life and tell them that God loves them, and so do you. Offer to pray with and for them, then step back and let the seeds take root.

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