Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Jeremiah 3:14-17; Matthew 13:18-23)
In a television drama, a detective is asked if he believes in God. He answers that he used to and hints that he lost his faith when his wife was killed in a hit and run accident. The vignette demonstrates what Jesus means in the gospel by saying that some seed falls on rocky ground.
No one’s life is always easy. Everyone suffers setbacks and experiences limits. Yet everyone as well is beckoned to respond in faith to God’s loving initiatives. He gives life and, more significantly, sends men and women to preach of His mercy. Rebelliousness and outrage hinder a positive response. These obstacles comprise the rocky ground of the parable. Still it is not inevitable that anyone lose faith. Jesus is urging his listeners to soften the ground of their lives by breaking up clods of anger. As countless suffering people have testified, God is more generous than anyone deserves.
We live in an age of disbelief. Statistics may say that a majority still believes in God, but the idea-makers are predominately agnostic and the faith of many is tenuous. Now more than ever perhaps it is our responsibility as believers to testify to our faith. We can tell others how when we pray, good things happen. At the very least, prayer enables us to cope with misfortune without cursing or self-pity.