This Gospel reading, Matthew 13: 18- 23, is a common Gospel story, which is found in more than one place and can provide rich messages no matter how often it is used for reflection. Let us re-read it to see what there may be for each of us at this time. What kind of terrain does God's Gospel find these days when it hits our soul? Smooth? Rocky? Not able to hold long enough to grow roots? Or rich, fertile, penetrable with the ability to bear fruit?
One kind of terrain that is not found in the story is one that has been scorched by fire. My thoughts turn to the plight of sowers of various kinds who will be planting among the thousands of acres ravaged once again by fierce and vast fires. The loss of timberlands in Colorado, the floods, the storms that have left thousands without power for days and days, and so on.
Surely there is something that is to be learned by these occurrences that appear ever more frequently. In Omaha, where I live, we experienced in 2011 many more scorchers--days with temperatures much higher than the norm. In March, this year, we had some days in the '80's. And now in mid-July days are commonly high '80's, '90's and several in the '100's! Not a lot of moderation in the forecast.
I hesitate to write more about this as unfortunately the topic has become so politicized. Nevertheless, I do feel it necessary to point out what I do see as responsibilities for all of us: the need to become informed about this "climate" issue at as deep a level as possible, to do what we can to respond to those who are severely harmed by this weather-- the poor, elderly-- and to vigorously do what we can to be faithful stewards of the soil of our planet, its water, and energy.
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