Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God. 



I rejoice in this season of warmth and growth, so full of life.
As plants and animals soak up the sun’s life-energy,
may I absorb your Life this day in countless ways. (E. Hayes, Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim)



Matthew 13: 1 – 9 On that day, Jesus went out of the house and sat down by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd stood along the shore. And he spoke to them at length in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep, and when the sun rose it was scorched, and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold. Whoever has ears ought to hear.” 


This is the season of planting and weeding and eventually harvesting here in upstate New York. So Jesus’ parable about the sower and seed is quite apropos for us today. It is not hard to understand the story of the seed falling on different kinds of soil. Jesus ends this story encouraging all of us with ears to hear; to really listen.
What is it that we are being challenged to hear in this story? Is it for us to examine what sort of “soil” we might have in our hearts? I wonder if Jesus is encouraging his listeners to be sure they have “rich” soil or if the message is more about the scattering of seed. God scatters the seed of the Word and of Love quite liberally and lavishly. In this parable we understand that God is not choosy about where the seed lands. The important action is really the sowing.
The other two readings we are given for today reinforce this understanding of a generous and loving God. In the reading from Isaiah we read that NO word shall return to God void. In St. Paul’s letter to the Romans we understand that all creation awaits God’s revelation and glorious freedom because God made it so. Each of these readings remind us that it is God who creates, sows and harvests. It is ONLY because of God’s extravagant outpouring of love that we live and move and have our being.
Some days the soil in my soul is rich and ready to fully receive God’s active Word and other days I feel as depleted as a field gone to seed. My faith, however, tells me that no matter the quality of the soil, God is still scattering seed every moment of every day. My prayer is that the seed take root and flourish into the fruit necessary for this time and place. That is enough!  


For your own reflection                                     What do you need from God to receive God’s Word of love and freedom at this time in your journey?



Closing Prayer:

As I worship you on this summer day, may my heart dance in wonder at all that you have ever made and all you are bringing forth in this moment. Amen                                                                (E. Hayes, Prayers for a Planetary Pilgrim)