“Making a Home in Our Hearts”, By Veronica Caballero, Fiat Ventures

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Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

A sower went out to sow. He grabbed his needle, thread, and the pants he needed to hem.  Can you picture Jesus leading with a great pun like that, and a groan going through the crowd? 

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we learn that Jesus was with a large crowd and began to tell them a story in order to teach them a lesson. Jesus explained that there was a sower (let’s call him a gardener). And the gardener went out into the garden to plant some seeds. As he was planting the seeds, some seeds fell on a path and some birds came and ate the seeds. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, and since the seeds weren’t planted deep in soil, the plants from those seeds withered in the sun because they didn’t have good roots. Other seeds fell on thorns and the thorns choked the plants that grew from them. Finally, some seeds fell on rich soil and since they fell on good soil, the seeds produced fruit, and a lot of it.

In the longer version of this Gospel, Jesus explains the lesson he’s trying to teach through this parable (or story). Jesus says that the seed that fell on the path is the person who hears God’s word and since they don’t understand anything about the word of God, none of the good stuff they hear sticks with them. The seed that fell on rocky ground is the person that hears the word of God and is immediately happy when they hear it. They’re pumped to hear such an awesome message, but since they have no foundation to their faith, their newfound motivation is temporary, they might forget about the message in a couple of days or when living out their faith gets tough. The seed that is planted among thorns is the person who hears the word of God, but then external anxiety and the everyday things that pull us away from God kill our desire to follow his word and nothing happens after listening to his message.

But the seed that is planted on rich soil is the person who hears God’s word and understands it. What this “rich soil” is, is a solid foundation of a relationship with Christ.

You see, God wants our happiness more than we do. And more than that, he wants us to be holy (which will ultimately give us true joy anyway). Like the good Father that He is, He doesn’t just tell us He wants our happiness and holiness and then leaves us alone to fend for ourselves. He helps us get there. He gives us the graces we need to be truly happy and holy. Let’s think of these graces, these “special helps” as the seeds in the story Jesus told. God is the gardener and he wants to give us these graces, or plant these seeds, but it’s our responsibility to provide the good soil.

He constantly gives us opportunities to draw closer to him. It may be through your parents inviting you to go to Mass or through a holy friend talking to you about God; you might even randomly start thinking about God while you’re walking through your neighborhood on a sunny day. God is speaking to us, and he’s trying to draw us closer to him. If he’s trying to send us a message but we’re too busy to hear it, it’s worth nothing, it won’t “bear any fruit” as scripture says. If God’s trying to change our lives but we’re not willing to make the effort to turn to him to listen to his plan, nothing will change.

This is it, friends. This is it. God is asking us to lay the foundation. To be ready for him. He wants to do big things in our lives, he wants to change the world through us, but more importantly, he wants to change our hearts first. We have to make a home for him in our hearts so when he tries to “plant the seed,” there will be rich soil for his plans to grow. 

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