Faith Daily |23 July 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p563
you alone can order our unruly wills and affections:
teach us to love what you command,
and to desire what you promise,
that, among the changes and chances of this world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed
where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 13: 18-23
18 ‘Hear then the parable of the sower. 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.* 22As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. 23But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Carol Streatfield
When I read this passage I think of all the ways in which we can lose our path to union with God: through lack of any prior knowledge, through no grounding in the teachings, by being over-committed to daily, material life, through lack of guidance along the path. I also hear of those Christians persecuted in lands where the Christian teaching is seen as a threat in some form. However, I also think of the ways in which even those for whom the teaching has found root, and who live in relatively tolerant situations, there are attitudes which can make talking about Christ psychologically and relationally hazardous.
You know, the times when the mention of what you do on the weekend (go to church!) bring on looks of quickly-veiled horror, or stunned silence, or a polite smile and a remembering of something else the person has to do urgently. Or, more painfully because it is true, are the accusations of immoral, hypocritical and corrupt behaviour in the institution that purports to be the keeper of morals. Or, perhaps even the inability of us all within the church to deal with differences kindly. These difficulties may not be as dramatic as some have to deal with but they are real, and friends are important, and church is important, if not central, to our lives.
One can only hope and pray that our attempts, which may not yield even the thirty-fold, may be of some use in God’s kingdom.
FINAL PRAYER: Prayer by St Francis de Sales
I offer you in the silence of this night
the fragile fruit
planted this day.
It is not meant
to remain a warm seed
protected in my heart.
Let it grow.
Let me share it with whomever I meet
when tomorrow comes. Amen.