This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
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Jesus began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. He said to them, “Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path…”
The Lord always takes the initiative. Contrary to popular belief, faith in God is not an initiative I take. It is a response I make. It is my personal response to God’s amazing initiative: his grace. Hence, faith is simply an act of justice. It is giving the giver his just recognition. But faith is also an act of love because he loved us first (cf. 1Jn 4:19).
Seeing the Lord with new eyes. Faith in God does not require a suspension of our intellect. It requires a change in attitude. The best example of this comes from teenagers. I marvel at how teenagers can be so disrespectful to their loving and sacrificial parents. I know parents who drive their children once a week to the doctor, and all they get from them is a lot of grief. I know parents who pay for their children’s private education, and all they get from them is a lot of headaches. I know parents who stay up late and wake up early for their children and they can’t even get them to do a simple chore.
Do they not know better? Of course they do! Do they not see the light? Of course! Do they even care? Of course not!
But time is a big component in growing up. No wonder most people who attend mass are in their fifties and sixties. They have come to the light and have seen the folly of their errors.
This morning I read an article about a famous punk rocker’s return to Catholicism.
In his autobiography, The Strange Case of Doctor Terry and Mr Chimes, baptised Catholic Terry Chimes, who drummed on The Clash’s eponymous debut album and toured with the band in the early 1980s, writes about his journey back to the Catholic faith.
Chimes said: “There was a chapter entitled The Great Sin. The great sin is pride, the tendency we all have to think we are better than someone else. I had always known that pride existed but wondered why it’s referred to as the great sin. That was until I realised the significance of pride as an obstacle to spiritual growth.
“The problem with pride is that those who have the most see it the least. CS Lewis said that if you have done some good works, read some spiritual books, perhaps practiced meditation or given up drinking and you take pride in that, thinking that you are more spiritual than someone else, then Satan will rub his hands with glee, because he will have caught you in a spiritual trap from which escape is very difficult.”
He continued: “As I read those words I had the chilling awareness that I have been in just such a trap for twenty years. I put the book down and went to sit on the sofa. I was reeling from the realisation that I’d been in a trap for all of that time. Within minutes I was having the most extraordinary experience of my life.”
The 57-year-old goes on to describe the ‘extraordinary experience’ which followed as a presence coming through him “in strong waves.” He said: “At that moment, everything material and concrete seemed like nothing compared to the power and majesty of this presence. Everything in my world seemed to be instantly shattered, leaving me feeling tiny, naked and exposed. At the same time I felt the most extraordinarily powerful love. This presence knew everything about me and yet still loved me.”
He continued: “There were many tears, but also the most profound feeling that I would always be loved until the end of time and beyond. I also realised at that moment that my life could never be the same again. There was the feeling that all of the hairs on my head were standing on end and tingling, a feeling that has stayed with me on and off ever since.
After his time with The Clash, Chimes went on tour briefly with the rock band Black Sabbath, in the late 1980s. He subsequently began to distance himself from his rebel, rock image when he became a teetotal vegetarian and trained as a chiropractor in 1994.
When Jesus was alone with the Twelve, they questioned him about the meaning of the parable of the sower. He answered them, “The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you…The sower sows the word.”
The Lord is the sower. He throws seeds of love – grace – everywhere. Some seeds fall on hardened or prideful souls, while other seeds fall on fertile or humble souls. There is nothing wrong with the Sowers seeds, they all have the power to achieve great things, if we only open ourselves up to them and Him. (109)
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