Thursday, July 27, 2017

Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time - We Are Not Alone

Jesus said to his disciples, "Hear then 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 thirty fold.” 

Introductory Prayer: I believe in you, my God, because you have revealed yourself to me. I believe in everything you have revealed through the ministry of your holy Catholic Church. And I hope in you, not in myself, not in the world, not in the empty promises of temptation: I hope in you, in your omnipotence, in your omniscience, in your undying loving-kindness. I love you, my God, but my love is a flicker, a fragile tongue of flame; keep it close to your heart today, and make it grow.

Petition: Give me what you ask of me, oh Lord, then ask what you will.

Points of Reflection

1. We Are Not Alone

Jesus does not leave us alone to fight against the devil, the world, and our own selfishness. He wants us to hear him, so he explains his parables – to his Apostles. Jesus comes to us through the many ministries of his Church, built on the foundation stones of the Apostles (Cf. Ephesians 2:20, Revelation 21:14) and their successors, the bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome. Nevertheless, despite the Church’s endurance and growth through the centuries (evidence of its divine origin) so many “hear without understanding.” How it must pain his heart to watch his seed wither away! Let us, at least, keep rich and ready the soil of our hearts.

How much do I love the Church? How would my life be different if I loved the Church even more? 

2. Realism

An important attitude for the Regnum Christi apostle is realism. Christ had it, so we should have it too. Realism means realizing that, ultimately, whether a seed of grace takes root in a soul depends on the free choice of that soul. We are called to be Christ’s sowers, but if even some of Christ’s seed fell on infertile soil, can we expect all of our apostolic efforts to be perfect success stories?

How well do I walk the narrow path between pietism (thinking that God will do everything on his own) and activism (thinking that I have to do everything on my own)? How can I walk it better? 

3. The Choke of Worldly Anxiety

The third type of soil that the seed fell on was good soil. The seed grew and blossomed. But “worldly anxiety” siphoned off just enough water and nutrients that the seed wasn’t able to bear fruit. The plant was alive, but it didn’t reach maturity. In our busy and hectic lives, this is perhaps our greatest danger: that our relationship with Christ and the Church becomes one sector among many – when that happens, our spiritual growth is sure to be stifled.

What aspects of “worldly anxiety” tend to choke my life of grace? How can I weed them out more effectively? 

Prayer: If you were to leave me alone, the seed of your grace would dry up and blow away almost immediately. Never leave me, Lord. Walk by my side today. Fill me with the warm sunlight of your love, the sweet rain of your mercy; make the life of grace you have planted within me grow and grow and grow. Never let it die; never let worldly anxiety choke it. I will do my best, but I need you to do all the rest. Amen.


[If I need especially to work on my prayer life]: Today whenever I see plants growing (gardens, houseplants, woods) I will remember this parable and talk to Christ in the depths of my heart, asking him to help my soil be rich and fertile, and asking him to help my Team members in the same way.

[If I need especially to work on my charity]: Today, I will not go to sleep until I have planted the seed of God’s Word in someone’s soul – someone in whose soul I have never yet done any gardening.

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