Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.
Today marks my parents 84th wedding anniversary! Their life together as man and wife began on July 28, 1939. With generous hearts they kept the Word and yielded a bountiful harvest which included raising eight children along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren! They persevered through good times as well as challenging times. They lived their faith which included following the commandments as we read in our first reading today. They taught us to focus our lives not solely on the letter of the law as much as on the heart of the law. They sowed seeds of love, compassion, generosity, and forgiveness. Sometimes their attempts fell on deaf ears, stubborn spirits, and closed minds, but they persevered and eventually we all reaped a bountiful harvest of faithfulness, servant leadership and spirit-filled lives.
Perseverance calls all of us to live Gospel-centered lives. We live in a world and a church that challenge us to hang onto to those seeds of faith that were planted in us at baptism. In order to grow in our faith, we must be willing to walk on rocky ground, put up with the thorns we encounter, persevere in the Gospel message even when we don’t understand it or want to hear it. We are reminded in the Gospel today that:
“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.”
May we continue to be the rich soil that bears fruit not only in our lives but in the lives of all those we encounter on our faith journey!
Theresa Secord is a retired Pastoral Associate at St. Agnes Parish, Louisville, Kentucky.