A Hundred or Sixty or Thirty-Fold
Matthew 13: 1-9
Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
I will renew my effort with whatever prayer commitment I have allowed to waver or falter the most.
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Lord, my prayer will "work" only if I have humility in your presence. So I am
approaching you with meekness and humility of heart. I have an infinite need for you and your grace.
Thinking about this helps me grow in humility. I trust in you and your grace. Thank you for the
unfathomable gift of your love.
Lord, may I always respond to your grace
in my heart with fervor and active love.
1. Tears of a Sower:
preaching to the crowds, hoping for a positive response, but instead witnessing many people turning
a deaf ear to his message of salvation. One day he is thinking about this as he watches a farmer
sowing seed. He sees birds come immediately and take some away. He sees previously sown seed
scorched by the sun. He sees some sprouts strangled by weeds. He then remembers the faces and
perhaps even the names of people who heard his message, but who chose not to respond or whose
response was short-lived. We are reminded of another Gospel passage: "As he drew near Jerusalem, he
saw the city and wept over it, saying 'If this day you only knew what makes for peace -- but now it
is hidden from your eyes'" (Luke 19:41).
2. Rebellion or Rest:
The admonition to
heed the word of God is frequent in Scripture. In the Book of Hebrews the author warns us to "harden
not your hearts as at the rebellion in the day of testing in the desert." The people of Israel
responded in this unfortunate way after the exodus from Egypt. "They have always been of erring
heart, and they do not know my ways. As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall not enter into my rest'"
(Cf. Hebrews 3: 7-11). This helps us foster a healthy fear of the Lord, encouraging us to work hard
to conquer all hardness of heart and remain close to Christ so as to enter into his
3. Fruits of Virtue:
"But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a
hundred or sixty or thirty-fold." The fruit that Our Lord wishes us to produce are virtues inspired
by faith, hope and love. If we are growing in virtue each day in imitation of Christ and for love of
him, we can be sure we are heeding his voice and are pleasing in his eyes. The greatest of all
virtues is charity, a practical and effective love for our neighbor. We can contemplate the lives of
the saints to see how these fruits are played out in a way truly pleasing to Christ. Conversation
with Christ: Lord, you know how easy it is for me to allow mediocrity to slip into my life. The
cares and worries of life often push you and your kingdom to a secondary plane. Grant me the habit
of carving out time for you in prayer each day, and carving out space for you in my life and the
lives of those under my care.
I will renew my effort with whatever
prayer commitment I have allowed to waver or falter the most.
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