3rd Wednesday OT 2019
Christ is always using parables in his preaching. Because through them, he reveals the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. The parable in today’s Gospel is no different. In this parable, Christ explains how faith takes root, or not, in different people. Some immediately reject Christ. Others rejoice in him, but then when times get tough, turn away. And still others, after accepting the faith, find that same faith choked out by anxieties, the world, and earthly goods.
Now obviously the last one Christ speaks of, where they accept the faith and produce ample fruit, is the goal. However, it takes a concerted effort on our part to be fertile soil for the Word of God, Christ Himself. But how do we cultivate that soil? How do we rake away the thorns that threaten to choke out the very essence of our spiritual life? It’s simple, really. Cultivating virtue. And humility is that first start in cultivating our soul, to prepare it more readily for the words of the Gospel. Because with this virtue we’re more ready and able to accept whatever it is Christ is telling us.
St. Augustine says that, “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues; hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” So, then, all the virtues are dependent on humility.
If we want to cultivate the virtue of humility, we must ask for it in prayer. And, we must accept humiliations.
Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, a Carmelite priest, once said that, “Many souls would like to be humble, but few desire humiliation; many ask God to make them humble and fervently pray for this, but very few want to be humiliated. Yet it is impossible to gain humility without humiliations; for just as studying is the way to acquire knowledge, so it is by the way of humiliation that we attain to humility.”
My friends, if our goal is Heaven, and if we want to follow the divine master to our heavenly reward, we must first cultivate the soil of our souls with humility and virtue.