Reflection for Saturday, September 22, 2001: 24th week in Ordinary Time.

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Laquer, Brigid Quinn
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" . . . hear the word in a spirit of openness, retain it, and bear fruit through perseverance." Luke|I have always liked the parable of the sower. In my younger days, I am sure it was because it made sense to me. Even a city girl could recognize the analogy that Jesus was making between the believer and the soil and how different people receive the word, the seed, of God.|What has struck me today in my reading of this familiar parable is why did the disciples ask Jesus what it meant?! Were they really dense? Could they not understand even the most apparent analogy?! Then I thought I should look again, often in my meditations now I realize the Holy Spirit may be trying to teach me new and different things.|Today I realized that these different soils actually exist in each of us, certainly in me. Part of us is the trodden footpath, hard and dusty where nothing can grow, and where the wind blows away the seed. Part of us is rocky soil where we refuse to let others into our sphere because they look unusual or have different ideas. We have many thorns and weeds in our soil that choke out the seed. The noise, speed and covetousness of our culture makes it very difficult to find silence or time or need to nurture the soil, to weed out and prepare the soil for the good seed, the Good News.|I like to think everyone has some rich soil. But we have to till it and fertilize it. We need to weed it and dig out the rocks and reclaim more of it as rich earth that will accept everything silently and transform it. The earth is receptive to sun and rain alike and capable of producing 30/60/100 more than it received! The crux is that no one notices the earth. It is always there. We love to be recognized. We love to have accolades for what we accomplish. Our habits and sentimentality make us hold on to the familiar, even if it is not good for us. We are resistant to change and unwilling to take risks. Pettiness, gossip, appearances and exclusion dictate our relationships with each other.|Humus and humble come from the same root word. What we forget is human comes from the very same root word and it means soil or earth. So how can we enrich this soil? What does it take to recover that hard dusty ground? How can we dig out those stones of intolerance and hate, or pull out the thorns of wealth, power and prestige?|Contemplation. Affective prayer. Prayer of the heart. No one says this is easy, but we never learn new things or achieve accomplishments without effort and practice, practice, practice. If you quiet yourself and pray you will get better at it. God will see to that.|Dear Lord, make us AWARE of our interior life and be open to your Spirit within us. Help us REFLECT on the emotions that surface and to recognize the need for change in ourselves. Guide us with your grace that we may RECEIVE the courage and wisdom to accept the change that the Spirit of God invites us to. TRANSFORM us Lord so that the fruits of our contemplation will take action in our daily lives. AMEN.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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