Today’s Gospel: Mark 4:1-20
Growing up in small town Iowa, it was always a spectacle to watch as the farmers would ready their fields for planting. It was all a calculated labor of love. My dad had his own little rituals on a smaller scale in our backyard garden. Tilling the soil, tossing out the rocks, planting, fertilizing, weeding – oh the constant weeding! All this to make sure that what was planted would grow and thrive.
When I hear the Gospel today, I am taken back to that backyard garden of my childhood. I see the love with which my dad would care for his garden and the joy on his face when the vegetables would begin to grow. Instead of vegetables, of course, the Gospel challenges me to think about how I prepare my heart to receive Christ. Do I stay so distracted that I do not even contemplate the Word? Do I open my heart but quickly lose focus? Or do I allow my heart to be moved, to be turned over anew to receive the Word of God and let it sink into its depths to create new life? Often I am somewhere in between. For a moment I allow my heart to be made new, but then forget that it needs tending – constant tending – to keep the weeds from choking the life out of me.
Many things become the rocks and weeds in my life. The daily grind, the lure of the phone, and the demands of raising children all threaten to elbow out the voice of God. Even in the midst of the chaos, though, God waits for us to rest in Him. Jesus wants my heart – all of my heart – so He can make it His and pour it out for the world. That is how we thrive.
How would you describe your faith now – on rocky ground, choked out, or deeply rooted? Are there troubles or cares of the world that keep you from fully surrendering to the Christ? What distracts you from nurturing your faith, allowing it to deepen and take root? What more could you do to let the word fall on fertile ground or help another along in their journey of faith to do the same?
Gracious and loving God, we thank You for the gift of Your Word. We thank you for making your mercy new each morning. May we continue to seek You in faith and surrender our hearts to You that we may be firmly rooted in the life-giving soil of Your Spirit and Truth. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Rakhi McCormick
Rakhi is a Catholic wife and mother who works outside the home part-time, while trying to keep up with her husband, soon-to-be three young children, and cat full-time. She is a convert from Hinduism and worked previously in young adult and campus ministry. Rakhi writes at www.thepitterpatterdiaries.com, where her mission is to share the love of Christ with the world.