Best Chance for Success

Readings for Friday July 23, 2010

First Reading: Jeremiah 3:14-17
Responsorial Psalm: Jeremiah 31:10
Gospel: Matthew 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." (Mt. 13:18-23)

In today's gospel, Jesus explains the parable of the sower. In the parable we have four different types of seeds, which can be likened to four different types of people. It is clear from this parable that a life with Christ is certainly no easy task, and that they can be many challenges and obstacles that we will face during this journey of "growth." This parable shows us that it is not simply enough just to hear the word of God, but we also must live it out and put ourselves in the right environment. Essentially what this parable is saying is that once we believe, we need to do things that are going to give us the best chance for success.

When we are talking about the best chance for success, what we are talking about is things that are going to give us the best opportunity to live out our faith. One of the reasons why the seeds that fell on rock sprang up fast and then died quickly, is because they did not have a firm foundation. We can liken this to not being grounded in God. He must be our foundation and the center of our lives if we are going to succeed in a strong faith life, and in reaching our goal of heaven. One of the other seeds fell to the ground and was choked up by the thorns. We can liken this to not surrounding ourselves with the right people or things. When we let the worldly people and things influence us, it leads us away from God, it leads us away from our true calling of love. Think about it, if one of our goals was to be an Olympic athlete, would it be a good idea to only hang around pessimistic couch potatoes all the time? Of course not, because that would not give us the best chance for success in our goal.

The seeds that fell on good soil were like the people who heard the word of God and understood it, their life went on to bear much fruit. The key to their success was that they were in good soil. They had strong roots and were grounded in God. They understood His word, meaning that most likely they spent time in prayer asking for guidance and wisdom. The soil they were in was good, meaning they most likely surrounded themselves with people and things that helped build them up, not tear them down.

In our faith life, it is all about giving ourselves the best chance for success. That means making sure that we are grounded in God, and that we surround ourselves with people and things that lead us to Holiness, not away from it.

Hail Mary, full of Grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be world without end. Amen.

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