Scripture tells us St. Joseph was “a just man before God,” and we now understand through our reflection that he was also “a man after God’s own heart.” In short, Joseph was good soil that bore abundant fruit. Today, let us consider Christ’s parable of the sower and the seed. It speaks of both St. Joseph and of ourselves.
The story of the sower and the seed is unique. By definition, every man fits into one of the four categories, but at the same time, most of us have experienced a little of each.
For today’s reflection, let us listen to the words of Christ and contemplate the obstacles for becoming fertile soil:
The sower goes out to sow the Word of God.
1) “Some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them” (Matthew 13:4). Christ explains, “When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart” (Matthew 13:19).
- Is your heart united to God?
- What are the obstacles/distractions from this?
2) “Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away” (Matthew 13:5-6). Christ explains, “As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures for awhile and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away” (Matthew 13:20-21).
- Are you rooted in Christ or in the comforts of the world?
- What is the evidence of this in your daily routine?
3) “Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them” (Matthew 13:7). Christ explains, “This is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).
- Is your ultimate desire for worldly success or to serve the Lord?
- What desires choke the Word in your personal life?
4) “Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:8). Christ explains, “This is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty” (Matthew 13:23).
- Are you like Joseph? Do you listen to God’s word, understand it, and rise up to fulfill it?
- How does it change your life when you accomplish the will of the Father?
Heavenly Father – help me to set aside the distractions in my life, so that I may become the good soil. Help me detach myself from my own disordered passions that cause me to lose the seed that you have planted within my soul. Help me to listen, to understand, and to do your will. Use me to bear great fruit. Make me more like St. Joseph. Amen.
St. Joseph – make me a man after God’s own heart. Amen.