"This is the meaning of the parable...hear the word in a spirit of openness, retain it, and bear fruit through perseverance." —Luke 8:11, 15
Ground is valued by its fertility, that is, how productive and fruitful it is. Jesus tells us exactly how to bear fruit:
- "Hear the word in a spirit of openness" (Lk 8:15). To hear the word, we must eliminate any background noise. We must cultivate a spirit of openness. Just like a farmer turns over the ground by plowing it, so we turn our lives upside down — make any changes necessary — so the seed of God's word can sink deep into our hearts.
- "Retain it" (Lk 8:15). A gardener retains the seed in the soil by burying the seed with a covering of dirt. In this way, the wind can't blow it away, and birds can't eat it. Likewise, we hide the word in our hearts (Ps 119:11, RSV-CE), treasuring it, and refusing to let it go. We meditate on it always (Ps 1:2), and make it part of our very being.
- "Bear fruit through perseverance" (Lk 8:15). We do not bear the fruit; God's word does that. However, we must persevere in cooperating with the Holy Spirit in dispensing His word (Mt 24:45), teaching it, and overcoming our tendencies to slack off from sharing His word.
Let's work hard to be rich ground for Jesus. "If we do not relax our efforts, in due time we shall reap our harvest" (Gal 6:9).
Prayer: Father, may I act in a manner appropriate for one who has heard the word of Almighty God today.
Promise: "To you the mysteries of the reign of God have been confided." —Lk 8:10
Praise: Mary teaches her students to habitually pray to the Holy Spirit upon opening the Bible to read.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010
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