Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Photo Clarity - Meditation on Scripture

In the Gospel of Matthew, is one of my favorite stories (parables). The Parable of the Sower. In it, Jesus explains what happens when people hear about the Kingdom of Heaven. Depending on where their hearts are depends on what they hear and take away from it. You can check out the full parable over at Bible Gateway, feel free to check out just about any edition of the Bible there!

If you are familiar with  it, when you see the image, it will most likely make sense to you, but if not, I will highlight the parable piece and it's explanation, then share a short meditation.

"...Behold, the sower went out to sow; ...Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out..." -Matthew 13:3,7    

"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom...the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful..."  -Matthew 13: 19,22

While I am certain that one tree was growing around the broken one and the broken one was probably broken by a storm, not due to the "choking" of the winding one, I thought this displayed this concept so beautifully in nature.

How many times do we feel "choked" by the constant stress of this life? Are we able to do anything fruitful during these times? I bet mostly not. St. Theresa of Avila asserts in her book, Interior Castles, that a soul in mortal sin can not bare fruit, even in doing good acts. When we let the "deceitfulness of wealth" get in the way of our lives, we often get caught up in our pride, our wants, and focus only on ourselves. A life focused on selfish desires and needs leads very little room for fruit. How can we lay our lives down for others, lend a helping hand, be involved with our families, if we can't get beyond our own needs and wants? I would love to meet someone who can manage to be selfish and selfless at the same time.

Interestingly enough, when we hear God's word, the invitation to give our lives as a means of love for others, it is no surprise that it makes no sense to us. Society surely does not support this calling. Yet Jesus tells us, that seed that falls on good ground, those who hear the word of God and cultivate it in their hearts, "this is the man who hears the word and understands it...indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty." (Matthew 13:23)

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