The first reading and the psalm response reassure us, if we are willing to put our trust in the Lord. The Gospel tells us how some seeds produce a great yield and some do not. I recognize the readings are intended to teach to different lessons, but together they do bring up a conflict in my faith life. I wish I was convinced that trusting in the Lord, and being a place where the Word can take root were the same. I have trust issues.
I can remember a day twenty-six years ago when I was on a retreat. I had just read the passage describing the lilies of the field. I was walking along a beach. I saw a colony of ants working precariously next to a piece of driftwood. They gave no concern to the water from the lake which was rolling in. I walked on. A few seconds later a large wave came on shore. I turned around and the ants and their work were gone.
My wife and I are less trusting individuals. We plan and we worry. We pack in advance. We get to the train station and airport early. My oldest son is not like this. In many ways, he is the person I was twenty-six years ago. I think of the missed connections that changed me. I think of the times when people violated my trust and altered my view of my fellow man.
What keeps me going in this struggle with my faith? Some of it is habit, but a lot of it is my experience. In the same way, that the Lord seems to allow the low moments in our lives, he also brings us times of consolation and joy. I often see this like my marriage. There are high points and there are low points. Why am I with my wife after 21 years? Some of it is habit. Some of it is the moments of consolation. These are the moments that leave me knowing it is right.
My son would be comfortable with the readings today. Since I wrote the last paragraph of this reflection he reported that he lost his pass for the train. My wife and I are concerned about his responsibility, as well as the time, effort and money that will go into replacing the pass. His feeling is we are making an issue out of a minor perturbation on an otherwise nice day. He says that he will take care it and pay for it and we should not let it bother us. The experience reminds me that I am not trusting enough. I am too concerned with things. Personally, I would have rewritten the Gospel such that the sower had carefully prepared the soil and was diligent about where the seed was cast. In short, I wish faith demanded something different. (I am a "Martha" where faith seems to favor the "Mary" from chapter 10 of Luke's Gospel.)
I pray today for faith and trust. I pray for the Lord's deliverance. I pray to be a place where the Word can take root.
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