Friday, 24 July 2015

Is there a right path?

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Jane Borg (No.142)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 13:18-23
This is what the parable of the sower means. It is about the kingdom of heaven. When someone hears the story of the Kingdom and cannot understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away whatever goodness and holiness had been sown in the heart.

This is like the seeds sown beside the road. You know people who hear the word of God and receive it joyfully—but then, somehow, the word fails to take root in their hearts. It is temporary. As soon as there is trouble for those people, they trip: those people are the seeds strewn on the rocky soil.

And you know people who hear the word, but it is choked inside them because they constantly worry and prefer the wealth and pleasures of the world: they prefer drunken dinner parties to prayer, power to piety, and riches to righteousness. Those people are like the seeds sown among thorns. 

The people who hear the word and receive it and grow in it—those are like the seeds sown on good soil. They produce a bumper crop, 30 or 60 or 100 times what was sown.

How often do we hear today that religion is old hat? That it's out of touch with the needs of the world and irrelevant to our lives today?

We live in a culture that encourages us to be free to live as we wish. We often ignore the fact that our actions can have far-reaching consequences into the lives of others. Even when we 'sit on the fence' and do nothing to help others, can result in grief to our fellow humans.

We can too easily cast aside natural and moral law in the pursuit of the right to live as we wish. Yet where is the Kingdom of Heaven in all this?

Jesus’ opening statement in today's parable of the sower tells us that people don't understand what they once knew to be true.

We ride a slippery slope when we turn away from the life He has called us to, in order to live in the way we desire.

So how can we stay on the right path? Fix our eyes on Jesus. In the words of the old but beautiful chorus:

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus;
look full into his wonderful face;
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim;
in the light of his glory and grace”. (Lemmel, 1922)

Jesus walks with us, guides us with his Holy Spirit and his Word. Let us immerse ourselves in goodness and grace and witness in our lives the kingdom of heaven.

Jane Borg
5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.

Next Reflection: Susanne Timpani  July 26th, 2015