Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Feast of St Sharbel Makhlouf.

“Hear then the parable of the sower. The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart." (Matthew 13: 18 - 19).

Friday 24th July 2020, 16th Week in Ordinary Time is the feast of St Sharbel Makhlouf. (1828 - 1898). Lebanese Catholic priest, monk and hermit. Sharbel is known for his great devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament and his filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was a great miracle worker during his life and after his earthly life.

In our Gospel message for today, let us reflect on this illuminating words: "The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it." Does your problem with the word of God stem from the fact that you do not understand it? Do you understand the word of God as a personal message to you requiring a response or action? This response is called obedience of faith. No understanding, no response or wrong response.

So how do we understand God's word to us? Through prayerful reflection and meditation. Read the verse or the message several times. When the Lord spoke this Scripture to me: "Make my Kingdom and my holiness your top priority. I promise you that I will take care of everything you need." (Cf Matthew 6: 33). I read the passage hundreds of times. Eventually, the message went from my head to my heart and I understood it and laughed for joy.

"But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” (Matthew 13: 23).

No understanding of God's love letter to you, no possibility of bearing fruit. Your ability to bear any fruit will be in direct proportion to your understanding of God’s word to you. God commanded Joshua to read the word He gave him and meditate on it day and night and always. This is the only way Joshua could succeed. (Cf Joshua 1: 7 - 8).

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