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July 20, 2022

Mt 13:1-9

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.  

Nurturing the Seeds of Faith

Brothers and sisters, clearly, we are the soil waiting to be tilled and nurtured by God’s word. Assessing what condition our soil is in is of paramount importance. Are we rich soil or something else? How ready are we to receive and nurture the seed that Jesus is offering to us that will produce fruit? How have we prepared our minds and hearts to receive his word? 

St. Ignatius offers us a way to come to understand where we are through the examen prayer. The examen is not just a laundry list we check off to ascertain where we have fallen short of God’s will for our lives in our day; it is a means of discerning daily how well we have followed the commandment of Jesus and loved God and one another well. It is also a brilliant opportunity for us to look at how well we have nurtured the soil of everyone we encounter so that they too can receive the seed which is the Kingdom of God. 

Brothers and sisters, it does not take much to do a spiritual check in, to gauge where we are on this journey back to God; perhaps in only a few moments a day. However, there is an intentionality in our efforts that is essential. So, I challenge you to live out your faith as followers of Jesus Christ and utilize this tool of the Examen that St. Ignatius has gifted to us. Allow this mechanism to be the means by which we nurture and are nurtured so that the only outcome is good fruit.

—Terresa Ford is a recent graduate of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and holds an M.Div. She is a resident Spiritual Health Worker at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, and a Spiritual Direction resident at the Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center

 

Prayer

Merciful Redeemer, we come before you humbly and confidently with every intention of doing your will knowing that sometimes we will fall short of the goal. We thank you for the daily opportunity you give us to try again and get it right. We thank you for the love that we have received and are inclined to give back to you and to your people.  Imbue us with everything we need to follow your commandment to love you more dearly and to love our brothers and sisters more completely. In your precious name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

—Terresa Ford 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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July 20, 2022

Mt 13:1-9

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.  

Nurturing the Seeds of Faith

Brothers and sisters, clearly, we are the soil waiting to be tilled and nurtured by God’s word. Assessing what condition our soil is in is of paramount importance. Are we rich soil or something else? How ready are we to receive and nurture the seed that Jesus is offering to us that will produce fruit? How have we prepared our minds and hearts to receive his word? 

St. Ignatius offers us a way to come to understand where we are through the examen prayer. The examen is not just a laundry list we check off to ascertain where we have fallen short of God’s will for our lives in our day; it is a means of discerning daily how well we have followed the commandment of Jesus and loved God and one another well. It is also a brilliant opportunity for us to look at how well we have nurtured the soil of everyone we encounter so that they too can receive the seed which is the Kingdom of God. 

Brothers and sisters, it does not take much to do a spiritual check in, to gauge where we are on this journey back to God; perhaps in only a few moments a day. However, there is an intentionality in our efforts that is essential. So, I challenge you to live out your faith as followers of Jesus Christ and utilize this tool of the Examen that St. Ignatius has gifted to us. Allow this mechanism to be the means by which we nurture and are nurtured so that the only outcome is good fruit.

—Terresa Ford is a recent graduate of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and holds an M.Div. She is a resident Spiritual Health Worker at Emory University Hospital Midtown in Atlanta, and a Spiritual Direction resident at the Ignatius House Jesuit Retreat Center

 

Prayer

Merciful Redeemer, we come before you humbly and confidently with every intention of doing your will knowing that sometimes we will fall short of the goal. We thank you for the daily opportunity you give us to try again and get it right. We thank you for the love that we have received and are inclined to give back to you and to your people.  Imbue us with everything we need to follow your commandment to love you more dearly and to love our brothers and sisters more completely. In your precious name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

—Terresa Ford 


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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