THE GOOD SOIL


FRIDAY, 24th July, 2015 – St. Sharbel Makhluf, P (opt. mem)

THE GOOD SOIL

Matthew 13:18-23

The most common way many young Christians have failed to hear God speak to them is by their conclusion that God never speaks. They have cultivated a heart of resistance and a closed mind to the voice of their creator. In fact, they are not eager, not open and not ready to listen to him. Just like St. Paul said in his second letter to Timothy: “they will hold to the outward form of religion, but reject its real power” 2 Tim.3:5.

Beloved in Christ, today’s reading reveals some classical illustrations of how we might be neglecting God’s voice through which He communicates His plan for our lives. Our hearts must be open and receptive to the word of God if it is to bear fruit in us. We must treat the word of God just like a bride who anxiously expects her lovely groom to come home after an important trip just a week after their wedding. It must take precedence over every other thing. This is the good soil that joyfully awaits a seed to be cultivated in it. It is certain of good fruits.

Are you always in a hurry when you pray? Are you always distracted and worried even when you are communing with God in prayer? Do you have a quiet time that secludes you with God? We can become better in our walk with God if we insist on hearing his voice. An intimate personal relationship with God would make us a good soil which is suitable for his glory. Let us appreciate the gift of God’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament and go to him for a conversion. Sometimes, we just need to listen and not offer any word of request when privileged to enter God’s presence in the Blessed Sacrament. It is a gradual growth which requires a longing and eager heart.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, make my heart a fertile soil for your word. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 20 How can we respond to God when he speaks to us?

To respond to God means to believe him… In many ways God seeks contact with us. In every human encounter, in every moving experience of nature, in every apparent coincidence, in every challenge, every challenge, there is a hidden message from God to us.

HIDE A TREASURE: “My sheep listens to my voice; I know them and they follow me”   John 10:27 GNB

Today’s Readings: Exodus 20:1-17; Psalm 19:8-11; Matt. 13:18-23

THE STILL SMALL VOICE

Sunday 10th August – 19th Sunday of the year

Reflection: 1 Kings 19: 9, 11-13

THE STILL SMALL VOICE

“My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27). God desires to speak to his children always. Through the words of scripture, at Mass, in every situation of life, in the events that unfold before our eyes each day, in the depths of our hearts, God desires to speak to us, helping us know and understand His will and reminding us that He is always with us. How then do we hear God speak?

Just as difficult as it is for you and your friend to hold a good conversation in the midst of noise so it is for us to hear God in the midst of noise. If we really desire to hear God and hold fruitful conversations with him, we must be quiet in the depths of our hearts. Today’s world is full of noise and distractions, making it difficult for us to recognize God’s voice. For us young people as we strive to catch up with the happenings around us, with our peers and friends especially on social communication outlets and our various ambitions it becomes even more difficult to maintain the silence of heart required to hear that still small voice.

Dear friend, just as the Prophet Elijah in our reading today waited to listen to God and found him not in the wind, fire, or earthquake bit in the still small voice, in the sound of a gentle breeze; we too must stay still in God’s presence and put off all distractions so we can hear his voice. Even in the midst of the noise around us, let us be recollected in our hearts and we will hear him speak through the events that play our before us each day. And as we hear his voice, we can really follow him.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please help me not to be carried away by the noise around me but to be silent in my heart and attentive to you so that I can hear your voice always. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 120 – What does the Holy Spirit do in my life?

The Holy Spirit makes me receptive to God; he teaches me to pray and helps me to be there for others.

St Augustine calls the Holy Spirit “The quiet guest of our soul”. Anyone who wants to sense his presence must be quiet. Often this Guest speaks very softly within us and with us, for instance, in the voice of our conscience or through other interior and exterior promptings…

HIDE A TREASURE: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: 1 Kings 19: 9, 11-13; Psalm 85: 9-14; Romans 9: 1-5; Matthew 14: 22-33

THE RIGHT HEART

Wednesday 23rd July – Wednesday of week 16 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 13:1-9

THE RIGHT HEART

Jesus presents to us today four different kinds of heart with respect to our attitude towards the Word of God in His parable of the sower. The seeds being sowed are the word of God, and the different places which the seeds fell are the different hearts that hear and perceive the word of God.

Can we identify with any of the pictures Christ paints in this parable? How often do we hear the word of God at Mass and forget all about it in a matter of hours? How often do we find ourselves compromising what we know is right in bid to be “acceptable” to our peers? Do we recall all those moments when we are burdened by difficult situations and we forget the peace and assurance God’s word offers?

Christ tells us that we must prepare our hearts to receive His word if it is to bear any fruits in us. When we have the right disposition towards the word of God; listening attentively with a desire to live by it and by asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds, it will yield a bountiful harvest in us.

PRAYER: Father, I ask that you sanctify my heart that it may always be ready to hear and accept every word of God with total joy. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 19 What role does Sacred Scripture play in the Church?

The Church draws her life and strength from Sacred Scripture.

Besides the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, there is nothing that the Church honors more reverently than Christ’s presence in Sacred Scripture. At Holy Mass we receive the Gospel standing, because in the human words we hear, God himself speaks to us.

HIDE A TREASURE: “…receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls” James 1:21 RSV-CE

Readings for Today: Jeremiah 1:1, 4-10; Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 16; Matthew 13:1-9.