“Letting God’s Word Grow in Us” Reflection for 15th Sunday
As rain water falls on the earth to make things grow so the word of God accomplishes what it was sent to do. It is not an empty word; it is a powerful word which brings about the purposes of God. As God’s word made the first beginning in Jesus it still makes new beginnings if we let his word bear fruit. It has the ability to change all who encounter it. Jesus used the image of sowing the seed to challenge his listeners to reflect and respond to his word.
I can recall growing up on a farm and every spring we prepared the land for the crops. The cultivation of the fields, with ploughing and tilling were responsible for the fruit of the harvest. No field was the same, there were fields where the crop would not do as well as others. There could be a dry, hard area around the entrance where the crop would be thin, another area of the field where it was rocky and the yield could be poor or an area where the ditch was high with weeds growing out choking the growth. The success of the harvest depended on the preparation of the farmer, and the providence of God with rain, light and heat. Poor weather conditions at times caused struggle and hardship. Yet, there was a harvest, this year produced seeds for the following year.
The seed of God’s word is God’s love given to us freely that is meant to produce a harvest in the different soil of our lives. The word depends on us and our openness to God’s grace. It is a gift, and like the seeds produced yearly to bear fruit for the following year. We too are chosen to bear fruit and build God’s kingdom. However, we can be lazy or preoccupied and we don’t prepare the soil of our hearts to let the seed take root. We cause struggle and growth takes time. If we take time nourish the word, God will wait on the gradual process. It might even take us a lifetime. But if we allow the seed to struggle to grow in us we will grow too. Eventually the word of God and our own word will become one.