Roots of Faith
Have you ever done work in a garden? I know for myself, there hasn't been a lot of experience, or time to try. For those who have, it takes time, effort, constant observation. It can be tough work. However, in the end, you are left with a beautiful sight, nourishment, and the feeling of a task well done. Our faith takes on the same meaning as a garden. It's planted, rooted in us at baptism. It needs constant work and effort, in forms of prayer, attending mass, living an example of a good disciple. In the end, people may even put you to the test. If you live your life according to the Gospels, being an example of God's love, something great will come from it. We can't even describe how great it will be to be reunited with Christ, it's too much for humanity to comprehend.
Today's Gospel states:'Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: "Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil; and when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold." And he said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." And when he was alone, those who were about him with the twelve asked him concerning the parables. And he said to them, "To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven." And he said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which is sown in them. And these in like manner are the ones sown upon rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns; they are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold"'(Mark 4:1-20).
In today's Gospel, we hear the parable of of the sower and the seed, sowing the word. His faith is the root of his life, and Satan tries to take it away. It reminds me of Job, a good holy man, who becomes tempted, everything taken from him to test his faith. If we don't have strong roots of faith, we'll fall apart when the first hint of despair comes our way. It's important to lean on those around us for support, but also to trust in God, continuing to find ways to strengthen our faith each day. Take some time to ask God to help you sow roots grounded in faith.
Today's prayer comes from 'Crosswalk' a short prayer asking for God's direction:
Lord, help me not to lean on my own understanding but in everything acknowledge You so that You can direct my words, thoughts and actions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.