Posted by: sisterbernice | July 23, 2010

Preferring Thorns

Today’s Gospel seems timely to me (See below).  How often do I think I am rocky ground.  Do I have that in common with victims?  I don’t know.  Reading some of their stories it seems as children they had joy in their faith.  Then, it was destroyed.  The destroyer should have been rich soil but really – he’s just the path.  How do we recognize not only where we are but where others are so that this doesn’t happen again – yet it is happening every day.  While I believe that there is that priest out there right now being abusive – he’s not the biggest problem.   Every day children are abused in schools, homes, camps, etc.  Elderly are too.   And every time, my faith is tested and I think I’m in the rocky soil.

Mt 13:18-23:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Hear the parable of the sower.
The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the Kingdom
without understanding it,
and the Evil One comes and steals away
what was sown in his heart.
The seed sown on rocky ground
is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy.
But he has no root and lasts only for a time.
When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
he immediately falls away.
The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word,
but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word
and it bears no fruit.
But the seed sown on rich soil
is the one who hears the word and understands it,
who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

And so, the Responsorial Psalm  from Jeremiah today is also helpful – at least the last part is:

Jremiah 31:10, 11-12abcd,

R. (see 10d) The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD, O nations,
proclaim it on distant isles, and say:
He who scattered Israel, now gathers them together,
he guards them as a shepherd his flock.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
The LORD shall ransom Jacob,
he shall redeem him from the hand of his conqueror.
Shouting, they shall mount the heights of Zion,
they shall come streaming to the LORD’s blessings:
The grain, the wine, and the oil,
the sheep and the oxen.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.
Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will console and gladden them after their sorrows.
R. The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock.

Why the Lord allows  these sorrows in the first place is the unanswered question for me today.  I know it’s about free will etc.  But the pain others are enduring seems like a suffering that has no redeeming purpose.  I know it does but I am not one who understands what. I’m preferring to be among the thorns so that at least I might know before overwhelmed by anxiety!  But, I will do what I do – Pray and abstain.

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