Daily Reflection for Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Peace and blessing, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First reading: Exodus 16:1-5, 9-15
Responsorial: Psalm 78:18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9
Our reflection on Wednesday's reading:
“Whoever has ears ought to hear.” Matthew 13-9
In this parable of the sower, I hear Jesus speaking to me about how, where, and why I invest my attention and energy in the garden that is my own life. Jesus brings to my attention the importance of not being careless about where I invest and where I sow this gift of life he offers.
Do I put my life's energy into dead soil that gives no life back? Do I scatter myself on rocky ground that returns little nourishment, not enough to sustain my spirit? Do I give my attention to what appears to be inviting and promising of reward, while not heeding the thorns of neglect, sin or selfishness that choke the life out of these endeavors?
Spending, eating, seeking the affirmation of others—we all have so many pursuits that hold some apparent promise and perhaps immediate reward, but the thorns of desire and self-centeredness lead to frustration and a deadening of our spirits. It is only the attending and investing in the soil of our spirit’s true desire that can give us the life, love, and peace for which we long.
Johann Sebastian Bach wrote "Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring” back in 1723. He drew upon the lyrics of a hymn written in 1661 by Martin Janus. Both the music and the lyrics capture the mysteriously rich soil for which our hearts yearn and through which our souls prosper. That same depth of longing and direction were mirrored in the words of Saint Augustine. “… our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
Jesus, joy of man's desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by thee, our souls aspiring,
Soar to uncreated light. (Martin Janus)
Words like these used to confound me as a child, but today they beckon me to the rich soil that alone can feed my soul.
Lord, guide us to the soil that is your sustaining gift of life. Protect us from the distractions and delusions that tempt but do not nourish us. Lord, fulfill our souls’ longing that we may flourish in the richness of your loving soil that gives eternal life. Amen