In Mark 4:3-9, Jesus gave us the parable of the sower. The story goes that a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
We all want to be the good soil. So the question is how.
When you receive a package from the courier guy, you don’t criticize how he looks or even the wrapper. The courier guy probably must be all drenched in sweat and the package may look dirty because of the handling. But we don’t really care about how the courier guy looks or the how the package is wrapped. We know that he is just a messenger and he is there to deliver the message. What we are interested in is what is inside the package. So what do we do? We accept the package, open it up, and use it.
In contrast, when we attend Mass, we sometimes criticize the priest, the choir or even the church itself. Granting that there are priests who deliver great sermons and others do not, they are all messengers. What is important is the Word of God. We listen, we absorb it or learn from it and then we make it part of our life.
Priests are not the only ones who are the messengers of the Good News. You and I can carry them (that is why we are called disciples). The Good News is often wrapped in deeds, stories or simple conversations. They are often not referenced to a particular verse in the Bible. The stories may not be told to your liking but nevertheless, the message is there. This is where the difference lies whether you represent the rocky ground, the thorns or the good soil. It is how we discern the events that we see and hear.
I remember my nephew Geosch when he was 6 years old was asked how he defines happiness. He said,”doing the things you love with the ones you love.” It is one of the most profound statements I’ve ever heard and several times I used it in making critical decisions. And I got it from a 6 year old kid.
When President Duterte delivers his midnight advisories, usually he makes many side comments. And many times these side comments become the focal point of discussions in social media. Then people ridicule him. People mock him. He doesn’t deserve it. It is like mocking the courier guy for how sweaty he is. It’s cruel. I understand it is easy to be caught up by the noise of self-righteousness. But can we just forgive the man of his imperfections and focus on the main message?
The Word of God is everywhere. Let us humble ourselves and be open in receiving it and applying it to our life. Let us not blame the messenger for how it is delivered or focus on the dirty wrapper. Let us keep our eyes glued to the message. Seek for the Word of God. Everyday.
(Photo by Jun Ynion)