Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Parables and Thorns

"As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Matthew 13:22-23

I am sitting in a meeting and we are discussing human rights around the world. And I am thinking how abundant the earth is and how very few people share in that abundance. This parable of abundance when we find and produce good soil, is littered with thorns throughout the centuries of the church. How much the faithful have been abundantly provided for, and how unwilling we often are to share that abundance. Thorns all over the place.

Jesus explained this parable because his disciples did not or could not understand. And it is so familiar to all of us and yet we often fail to understand. The work of the faithful is both to be good soil and to be productive. It is also clear that sharing the productivity is part of our common work and where we often fall among the thorns. Our worldliness gives us access and also can trip us up.

Today, I want to take this Gospel to heart. I want to ask myself the hard questions about my own productivity and learn in new ways to weed out the thorns and be honest with the deceptions in my own life. Hearing this old familiar parable ignites a new openness in me to listen anew to the needs of others. May we all invite a new passion for the care of others and know God's abundance in our time.

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