Friday 24 July 2020

Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Matthew 13:18-23

He never sleeps

There is never a single moment when God is not sowing his Word through a universal, life-giving rainfall in Jesus and in the Paraclete Spirit.  God's hands never pause and his eyes never sleep.  He always and continuoUsly sows his Word made up of inspirations, enlightenments, intuitions, and grace in thousands of different ways and times in each every one of his children. His Word is a seed of truth, wisdom, freedom and healing which comes down and flows continuously as a river of light and beauty that surrounds and permeates everything, and even if no one knows how, His Word will always and certainly bear fruit. In this very moment God's Word is embracing, tenderly holding, stroking, protecting, covering our person even more than air, light or any possible electromagnetic field could. God's Word in Jesus comes down to people's hearts during moments of grace and gratitude, but it also comes down regularly and faithfully, never stopping, even in moments of fear and solitude, even when we are crossing deserts of faith.
The Evil one likewise never sleeps and never stops arranging for impediments, obstacles and reluctance in human hearts as God's Word descends upon us. The Evil one's favourite obstacle is ignorance: he makes sure that when someone encounters Jesus' Word he/she will not understand it or be able to decipher it because of ignorance or the lack of necessary tools. If the Word is met with ignorance, it is  easier for the Evil one to uproot it from people's hearts and minds. This process is referred to in the Gospel as seed sown on the path. When people are given the necessary tools to learn and to understand the Word, they can distance themselves from ignorance and be protected from the Evil one's temptations. Another way that the Evil one uses to block the encounter between the Word and people's hearts is what the Gospel refers to as the rocky ground. Wherever the Evil one cannot prevent the Word to be welcomed with joy and enthusiasm because it is understood through knowledge, he does his job by creating tribulation, social and emotional pressures, small and big persecutions caused by the Word to induce people's hearts to give up. The  seeds sown among thorns according to the Gospel's text refers to persons who listen and comprehend the Word, but the Evil one is able to suffocate love and passion for the Word using wordly worries, ambition, avidity, money's seduction. That is how the Evil one manages to choke the Word in men's heart and spirit so fruit cannot be borne.  Who then will be able to bear fruit from the Word's seeds if the Evil one never takes respite from his  attempts to choke the Word in us?  It is impossible if only human strength is involved. The way of getting around the Evil one's efforts is that of never sleeping; we need to stay awake and to remain as long as possible under the Word's rain. The secret is transforming every day into a continuous, intimate, secret, loving relationship with the Lord and his Word. The secret is turning every inner dialogue, every thought, every inner word into his Word.  Some training is involved if we want to  learn to repeat not the human words of our thoughts and worries, doubts and fears, but God's Word.  When it becomes natural it will become something we cannot live without. The secret is remaining peacefully and resolutely nailed (in the Apocalyps being nailed is ├Ęsteka) to His Word. You can use a short sentence from the Gospel, a word-invocation-blessing from a psalm, any of Jesus' words that are liberating and healing. To stay within his Word you can also use an image, episode,  miracle,  encounter from Jesus' life. To stay within His Word you can meditate and imagine, keeping your mind and heart peacefully concentrated on the grotto where Jesus was born, or on Mary at the foot of the cross, or walking with Him in the luminous days of his resurrection. Turning the day into a complete immersion into Him and into His Word can overcome all the Evil one's strategies and let the Word bear its wonderful fruits.