Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reflection Wednesday Week 3 Year C- Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo

Reflection Wednesday Week 3 Year C- Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Hebrews 10:11-18; Ps 110:1-4; and Mark 4:1-20

The Power of the Word in our Heart

Today’s Gospel of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20), reminds me of my time as a young novice at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Claretian Missionaries’ Novitiate, Utongon, Mid-west of Nigeria.
We had plots and plots of rice farm meant to support the Novitiate and the Order as a whole. It was there that I learned how to cultivate rice that we often eat in the dinning. Long process that begins with clearing the bush, tilling the soil, spreading the seed at random, and going back to re-transplant and spread out the germinated seed that survived the  heat, the birds and the rudeness of the surroundings. After transplanting, irrigation in some cases, weeding, chasing birds, cutting, threshing, winnowing, parboiling and few other steps to produce a finished rice, ready for the market.

The point I want to make here in line with today’s gospel is that, some of these seeds during planting felt on paths, road, rocks, stones and other dry object. Some were eaten up by birds and heated up by heat, while some felt on a good soil and grew to yield abundant and good harvest.

Reading this text along side the Letter to the Hebrews 10:11-18 we can guess who the sower in the parable is, Christ, the perfect sacrifice, perfect priest and of course the Word of God being the seeds, and our hearts and spirit of disposition the good soil which receives and responds to the word and love of God. The power of the word of God, his love for us.

This love is immeasurable. It is a greater love sacrificial and complete love of Christ on our behalf. It is greater that the sacrifice made by the priest of the old law. That sacrifice was incomplete. The priest of the old law kept repeating that for our sins, but unfortunately it was incapable of taking away sins. But Christ’s single sacrifice of love is effective for all time. Christ, unlike the priest of the old law who hangs around to repeat that sacrifice year in year out, with the completion of his job has now taken a seat at the right hand of his father. We have been sanctified continuously by it.

Like the birds, bad soils and rocky paths of the gospel parable there are many who would resist or chose not to take advantage of the grace or many of the blessings the Lord has blessed us with. Psalm 110 refers to them and the challenges that stand on our way to God (poverty, laziness, ignorance, misunderstanding, lack of spirit of forgiveness, forgetfulness, lack of faith and hope, dangers of materialism, secularism, drug, and alcohol addiction),  as the enemies whom the Lord has made his footstool.

With God everything is possible. He walks and works in mysterious and different ways, times and culture. In those days the laws were written on the tablet. And God was encountered in the burning bush. But as Jeremiah would testify, today the spirit of  Christ is in our hearts, in our homes, class rooms, offices and duty posts.. Christ gives us the strength, to bear abundant fruits wherever we are, to love, to forgive as God has first forgiven us. This is the power of the word in our hearts.