Like any seed, the Word of God possesses so much potential for life. It has the capacity to germinate so long as it is accepted by hearts that present no obstacles for its growth. The parable of the Sower is fulfilled in this very place where we are. The same Word of God was heard by everybody here present. But it will not produce the same fruits in all of us because we received the same Word of God in different ways. Some heard the Word but did not listen simply because they never considered God’s word as worth listening to. There is an outright rejection by hearts that chose not to believe in anything God says.
Some were willing to give the Word of God a try but they immediately give up at the sight of the Cross that comes with discipleship. They simply do not want to suffer for the sake of Christ. Some are willing to accept the Word of God but are overcome by love of material things and worldly anxieties. Only those who are willing to renounce attachments to worldly things and to embrace the Cross are the ones who will bear abundantly the fruits that the Word of God promises to bring into their lives.
The secret to cultivating the Word of God into our lives is rather simple. First, we have to listen to it, accept it and believe in it. “Listen carefully, my son, to the master’s instructions, and attend to them with the ears of your heart…welcome it and put it to practice,” so said the Rule of St. Benedict (prologue: 1)
Then, we should allow the Word of God to convert our hearts. We should be willing to let go of worldly attachments that stifle the desires of the spirit. We should will to be free from “slavery to corruption” in order to live in the “glorious freedom of the children of God.” “Renounce yourself in order to follow Christ; discipline your body; do not pamper yourself, but love fasting.” (Rule of St. Benedict 4:10-11)
Then, of course, we must embrace the Cross because there is no authentic discipleship without it. Willingness to endure sufferings for the sake of obedience to the will of God is a necessity for following Christ. “The labor of obedience will bring you back to him from whom you had drifted through the sloth of disobedience.” (Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue:2) It is difficult to obey the commandments of the Lord but this is the only way to real life. “All who come to Christ will live forever.” (alleluia verse) “Sufferings of this present time are nothing as compared with the glory to be revealed for us,” so said St. Paul in the 2nd reading.
This is the part which the Lord asks of us. For his own part, the Lord will always water the seed planted in our hearts with the Holy Spirit whom he gives to us through the sacraments we should frequently receive. Therefore, let us constantly draw from the well of the sacraments the water of life which we need to nurture the seed of the Word of God planted in us. Christ plants the seed, we cultivate it with our cooperation, and the Holy Spirit provides the growth. Let us strive to bear the fruits of the Spirit so that we may be able to present to the Lord a rich harvest!
Jesus, I trust in you. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!