Patches of Rock

If I will liken and compare myself to the types of soil mentioned in today’s Gospel, I believe that I would be like that rocky soil or “patches of rock” where the seed of the sower fell.

Why do I say so? For the longest time I have seen myself as the kind of person who is easily and joyfully inspired by beautiful stories about the lives of saints or biblical lessons learned and heard, and yet would always feel incapable, lacking the strength to live them out and have them transform my life.

Most of these inspirations “have no roots deep down” for them to last.

When I was still new to the spiritual life, this realization always made me feel disappointed with myself, until I realized how patient the “Sower” has always been. He does not discriminate where to sow. He does not tire of sowing His seeds on His “patches of rock.” He sows generously.

I now understand that while I would still find myself a worthless ground for the sowing, I should just learn to keep myself humble by being open to receiving these abundant “seeds.”

I remember what I had learned from grade school science about erosion: no rock is hard enough not to be broken, torn, and reduced to soil by the different elements around it after some time.

May God grant me the grace to bear lovingly all this breaking and tearing through time until I will be a good soil open and ready to receive His words.

By: Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco

Today’s Gospel

Mk 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him 
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables, 
and in the course of his instruction he said to them, 
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, 
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.  
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it 
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

And when he was alone, 
those present along with the Twelve 
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them, 
“The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that
they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.

Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once 
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, 
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, 
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word, 
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, 
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, 
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

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