Saturday, July 9, 2011
The Sunday Word
In Jesus' parable this Sunday, the sower casts out seeds which fall on four different environments. The environment determines the seeds' ability to grow and survive and to bear fruit. In our Marianist schools there is a philosphy that supports this idea. The philosophy says: "Atmosphere educates."
In Sunday's parable one batch of seeds cast out by Jesus' sower landed 'on the path.' The way was smooth, but the ground was hard, compacted by back-and-forth traffic. All the seed could do was lie on top of the soil, exposed and barren. Not surprisingly, these seeds were swiftly scooped up by hungry birds.
None of us can survive in a life that is barren of beauty, devoid of decoration, empty of ritual. We need special markings and moments to help us define the parameters of our lives and the passing of our days. To this end, all of us create rituals that help guide us forward and bring us back again. Some rituals are practiced so often they become ingrained habits. We have 'morning rituals'--which help us get up and prepare to face a new day. Whether these involve a 20-minute hot shower or a 40-minute cold run through the park, these rituals help settle our souls.
Another batch of seeds cast in the parable of the sower fall onto the rocky ground. Immediately, they shoot up high stalks, for there was virtually no soil for putting down roots. But all this frantic upward growth was in vain. The first day of scorching heat withered these high stalks. They had no root system to bring them nourishment and sustain them through the fierce midday sun.
Get a good look at these 4R's (Roots, Rituals, Relationships, Realities) in this week's Scripture readings before you hear them this Sunday.