“Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you . . .” James 1:21
One of the things that amazes me about reading Sacred Scripture, is that no matter how many times I have read a passage something new comes to light. It never gets old. For me, the Sacred Scripture is the seed that is planted in my heart as I listen to it at the Liturgy of the Mass or reading it privately. Hopefully, that seed is growing and producing much fruit through my teaching and in my relationships with my husband, friends, colleagues, and students.
All three readings today look at what we do with the Word. In the first reading, Moses is encouraging the people to follow the words of God’s statutes and decrees, commandments, these help the people to become closer to God and allow them to become a “great nation” full of “wisdom and intelligence” because they put their trust in the commandments of God. The flip side of this is found in the Gospel of Mark where Jesus is calling out the Pharisees for becoming so caught up in the Law that they ignore what is in their hearts. Over time the people have forgotten what the Law was really for, growing closer to God. In the Letter from James, we read to “be doers of the word and not hearers only.” That the word is not just to hear but to put into action. What do I do with what I hear in Scripture? What is God calling me to do? How is it helping me to grow closer to God?
When we read Sacred Scripture and “humbly welcome the word”, something is planted in us and it is up to us to nurture that seed and to wait and see what plant comes forth. Is it Faith? Hope? or Love? Gratitude, fortitude, or acceptance? It may be forgiveness or the willingness to forgive. Many gifts await us when we plant many seeds in the garden of our heart and tend to it.
Linda Schork is a theology teacher at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky.