First Reading: 1Cor 15:35-37. 42-49; Psalm: 56. R. v. 14cd; Gospel: Lk 8:4-15
IDENTIFYING THE OBSTACLES TO GOD’S WORD
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
What are the obstacles that hinder the word of God from bearing fruit in us? It is important we pay attention to them because God is more concerned with the doers of his word and not the hearers. Jesus reminds us in the parable of the sower that there are several reasons why the word of God fails to take root in us. Satan, trials, worldly concerns and material pleasures are the obstacles we need to battle for God’s word to bear fruit in us. These obstacles are stubborn and insistent but we can overcome them through grace which God supplies.
It is the desire of Jesus that we hear his word and keep it. It was for this reason that he pointed out to us what we must watch out for in order for his word to bear abundant fruit in us. As Saint Paul recounted in the first reading, for a seed to produce fruit, it has to die first. No good result comes easy. Even in life, we sacrifice our time and energy to generate our means of survival. Likewise, for God’s word to bear fruit in us, we have to sacrifice those obstacles in life that hinders it. We need to make effort to wrestle them while the grace of God strengthens us to overcome them.
As we listen to the word of God daily, it is very crucial that we pay attention to the different obstacles in our life that hinders this word. It could be our philosophies and principles. It could be our friends, lifestyles, attitudes, selfishness, hobbies, or even the places we love to go. It could even be our relationships. Once we can identify these obstacles, then the problem is half solved. For a successful diagnosis is just a halfway to the healing of a patient. At this point, we will need holy discipline. And this demands that conscious effort to resist these obstacles. This may not be easy, but the grace of God is there as medicine to help us cure this illness day after day.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, may your grace always abound in us for we rely on your grace to overcome the obstacles to your word so as to bear abundant fruit. Amen.